Eared dove

Eared dove
Zenaida auriculata
Photo by Cláudio Timm (Flickr)

Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Columbidae

The eared dove is a resident breeder throughout South America from Colombia to southern Argentina and Chile, and on the offshore islands from the Grenadines southwards. It may be a relatively recent colonist of Tobago and Trinidad.

These birds are 22-25 cm long and weigh 100-120 g.

The eared dove is found in savannas, secondary growth scrubs and other open areas, including agricultural land. They readily adapt to human habitation, being seen on wires and telephone posts near towns and even in public spaces of large urban areas. These birds are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

These granivores eat the seeds of a wide variety of wild plants, but also consume maize, wheat, rice, and soybeans which form the bulk of their diet in agricultural areas.

Eared doves can breed all year round, the exact breeding season varying between different parts of their range. They build a small stick nest several meters up in a tree, where the female lays 2 white eggs. The eggs are incubated for 12-14 days and the chicks fledge about 9 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, it is described as common. The population is suspected to be increasing as ongoing habitat degradation is creating new areas of suitable habitat, so this species is not threatened at present.

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