The graceful dove is a familiar sight in Illinois, where 4 species of these gentle birds can be found.
The most common is the mourning dove, with its soft gray plumage and mournful coo.
The rock pigeon, also known as the city pigeon, is another common sight in urban areas.
And the Eurasian collared dove, an invasive species, is becoming increasingly widespread.
Doves are a popular bird species in Illinois, and there are 4 species that can be found in the state. The most common is the mourning dove, followed by the rock pigeon and the Eurasian collared dove.
Doves in Illinois
- Mourning Dove
- Eurasian Collared-Dove
- Rock Pigeon
- White-winged Dove
1. Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove is a common sight in Illinois. It is medium-sized, measuring 9-13 inches long with a 17-18 inch wingspan. Mourning Doves are also common types of doves in California.
The dove’s body is pale grayish-brown, featuring a hint of pink on its chest, and is marked by distinctive black spots on the sides of its neck.
Mourning Doves are the most common doves in Hawaii, Idaho, Florida, and Michigan as well as in other parts of America.
Mourning Doves can be found throughout various habitats in Illinois, including urban areas, suburbs, agricultural fields, woodlands, and open grasslands.
Mourning Doves are the most commonly seen doves in Arizona.
Recognized by their soft and melancholic cooing calls, Mourning Doves often engage in these calls during their courtship displays.
They predominantly feed on seeds, grains, and occasionally insects. These ground feeders are frequently seen foraging on the ground.
2. Eurasian Collared-Dove
The Eurasian Collared Dove is slightly larger than the Mourning Dove. The Eurasian Collared-Dove measures 12-14 inches with an 18-22 inch wingspan.
Its pale gray body has a distinctive black “collar” on the back of its neck and white wingtips. Eurasian Collared Doves are also common types of doves in Alaska.
This dove species has become increasingly prevalent in urban and suburban areas across Illinois. They also inhabit agricultural fields, gardens, and wooded edges.
Eurasian collared doves are known for their repetitive and soft cooing calls.
Adaptable to human-altered landscapes, they are often spotted around bird feeders. Similar to Mourning Doves, they primarily consume seeds and grains.
3. Rock Pigeon
Rock Pigeons also known as city or street pigeons, Rock Pigeons come in varying colors and patterns.
These medium-sized birds measure 11-14 inches in length with a wingspan of 19-25 inches.
They exhibit shades of gray to brown, often displaying iridescent patches on their neck and wings.
Well-suited to urban environments, Rock Pigeons are a common sight in cities and towns across Illinois. They frequently nest on buildings, ledges, and other structures.
Recognizable by their cooing sounds, Rock Pigeons thrive in human-populated areas.
They feed on a diverse range of sources, including human food scraps and grains.
4. White-winged Dove
The White-winged Dove is larger than the Mourning Dove, measuring 9.5-12 inches long with a 17-18 inch wingspan.
It has a light gray-brown body, characterized by a white wing patch and a pale blue eye ring. It is also a common species of doves in Colorado.
While less common in Illinois compared to other species, White-winged Doves can be found in the southern regions, particularly in woodlands, riparian areas, and suburban gardens.
Identified by their unique cooing call and strong flight, White-winged Doves primarily feed on seeds and fruits. They are often seen perched in trees or foraging on the ground.
In Illinois, four types of doves play important roles in the state’s bird community: Mourning Doves, Eurasian Collared-Doves, Rock Pigeons, and White-winged Doves. These birds each have their own characteristics and preferences for where they live.
Mourning Doves are gentle and adaptable, often seen on the ground looking for food like seeds and insects. Eurasian Collared-Doves are recognizable by their collar-like markings and white wingtips. They feel at home around people and make soft cooing sounds. Rock Pigeons are the pigeons you often see in cities, and they eat a variety of things, including scraps and grains.
White-winged Doves have a special place, even though they’re not as common. They have unique patterns and lovely calls, making them a treat to spot in woodlands and gardens.
These doves show us how birds can thrive in different places. Their calls remind us of the beauty of nature right here in Illinois.