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The Beauty of Florida’s Dove Species: An In-Depth Guide to Identification

Doves in Florida

Identifying doves in Florida is more difficult than it appears because you must recognize numerous dove species as well as other species that are closely related to them. In Florida, doves are among the most popular bird species. They enjoy the warm weather, which is just one of several factors that contribute to this. There are several different types of doves in Florida. To attract mates or interact with other birds, they make a humming noise.

Types of Doves in Florida

In Florida, you can find several different species of dove, which are discussed here:

Common Ground-Dove

Common Ground-Dove - Doves in Florida

The Common Ground Doves (Columbina passerina) are little Florida birds approximately the size of sparrows. These are brownish-grey in color with chestnut tones on the feathers and a round tail. The wings have dark markings. Because of their small size and faint dusty hue, these birds are difficult to see on the ground. Another method to recognize them is by their repeating cooing cry, which is heard even if you can’t see the bird since it’s hidden in a thick brush.

They eat seeds and insects and prefer living in grassy areas. These doves are particularly vocal. At any time of the year, they are audible throughout the entire day. Because they lay their eggs on the ground, they are prey to predators. This explains how these doves can blend in with their environment because of their excellent camouflage.

Mourning Dove

The lovely Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) can be seen in Mexico and the United States and is one of the most popular types of doves in Florida. With a pale underside, this bird is almost totally grayish-brown in color.

There is a tiny black dot on the side of the face, and the wings and tail are pointed. When looked at closely, the Mourning Dove can be identified by its greyish blue eyering, pink legs, pointed tails, and pink toes.

They frequently make their nests in trees and eat seeds, grass, and insects as food. Male and female appearances are identical. They have a characteristic call that may be heard from a great distance. In parks, suburban areas, and agricultural fields, they are frequently observed and feed on seeds. They are calm birds who reside in groups of up to 100 other birds.

White-Winged Dove

White-Winged Dove - Doves in Florida

Historically, remote desert areas were home to the White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica). These doves in Florida can also be found along Florida’s Gulf Coast in coastal areas outside of the breeding season. It is now a typical breeding bird in cities and towns all over the southern US, including south Florida.

A black mark on its cheek and a bright orange eye with a pale blue eyering are other distinguishing characteristics.The white spots on the wings, which are a wonderful feature for recognizing this species, are most visible when it flies in the air.

They enjoy living in open environments like savannas, deserts, and suburban regions. They eat seeds and fruits. It typically lays two eggs and constructs its nests on the ground or in low trees. They are bigger than Mourning Doves.

Eurasian Collared-Dove

The Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is a frequent nesting bird in Florida’s urban environments. The black half-collar on the neck helps to keep predators away and the white patches on the tail, which is most noticeable when the dove is flushed from the ground. It is an attractive bird with beautiful feathers.

Because of their habitat, these famous doves in Florida are at risk. It is nevertheless a well-liked bird for birdwatching and is usually regarded as a typical urban bird in spite of this. The fact that these doves are very dispersive after the breeding season even though they are not migratory causes them to appear in places where they would not typically breed.

African Collared-Doves

African Collared-Doves - Doves in Florida

African Collared-Doves, commonly referred to as African Turtle Doves (Streptopelia roseogrisea). Although it has a unique black collar around the nape of the neck and a similar look to the Eurasian Collared-Dove, this species is typically smaller and has more grayish-brown feathers. It eats fruits, seeds, and grains for food.

They can be distinguished from one another based on the color of their under-tail coverts. It has dark grey under tail coverts compared to the African Collared-white Dove’s. The African Collared-quiet Dove’s purring melody is considerably distinct from the Eurasian Collared Dove’s cooing song.

Zenaida Dove

Other famous doves in Florida are the Zenaida doves (Zenaida aurita) that migrate through the southern United States. The Zenaida dove measures about 28 to 30 cm. It resembles the mourning dove in appearance, but it is a smaller, more rounded tail, and is slightly darker in color.

They are a species of dove recognized for their stunning blue and green feathers. The Zenaida flower, which serves as these birds’ primary food source throughout their trip, inspired the name of the Zenaida dove. It migrates to Mexico or Florida in the winter to escape the cold.

Inca Dove

Inca Dove - Doves in Florida

Florida is home to a little, grey dove known as the Inca Dove (Columbina Inca). They can be seen in big flocks and have a high-pitched cooing sound. Due to its distinctive and attractive plumage, it is both a well-liked companion and an engaging subject for bird observers. It is regarded as a rare bird, and although little research has been done on it, it is thought to be in danger of going extinct.

Their food varies seasonally and consists primarily of insects and tiny seeds. In cities, they may eat on bird feeders or garbage. One of the rare wild dove species that makes its nests in high-altitude areas is the Inca dove. It typically lays two eggs and builds its nest by filling a protected hollow in a tree or rock with sticks.


Overall, doves in Florida are the most important species and can often be seen year-round, but they are most common in the spring and summer. Their presence helps to support the state’s unique wildlife. They bring a sense of calm to both rural and urban regions, which is a pleasant sight in the state.

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