Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata)

Eared Dove

[order] COLUMBIFORMES | [family] Columbidae | [latin] Zenaida auriculata | [UK] Eared Dove | [FR] Colombe oreillarde | [DE] Ohrfleck-Taube | [ES] Zenaida Torcaza | [NL] Geoorde Treurduif


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Zenaida auriculata SA widespread
Zenaida auriculata antioquiae nc Colombia
Zenaida auriculata auriculata c Chile, wc Argentina
Zenaida auriculata caucae w Colombia
Zenaida auriculata hypoleuca w Ecuador, w Peru
Zenaida auriculata jessieae lower Amazon (Brazil)
Zenaida auriculata marajoensis Amazon estuary (Brazil)
Zenaida auriculata noronha ne Brazil, Fernando de Noronha Is. (Brazil)
Zenaida auriculata rubripes Lesser Antilles, Trinidad, c Colombia to the Guianas and n Brazil
Zenaida auriculata ruficauda e Colombia, w Venezuela
Zenaida auriculata vinaceorufa Netherlands Antilles
Zenaida auriculata virgata Bolivia to c Brazil south to Tierra del Fuego

Physical charateristics

The Eared Dove is 24 cm long with a long wedge-shaped tail, and weighs normally about 112 g. Adult males have mainly olive-brown upperpart plumage, with black spots on the wings. The head has a grey crown, black line behind the eye, and the blue-black on the lower ear coverts. These black markings give the species its English and specific name. The underparts are vinous, and the tail is tipped with cinnamon. The bill is black and the legs dark red.

The female is duller than the male, and immatures are greyish-brown, very dull, with pale barring.

Listen to the sound of Eared Dove

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/E/Eared Dove.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 31 cm wingspan max.: 33 cm
size min.: 22 cm size max.: 26 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 8 days fledging max.: 14 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


South America : widespread


Eared Doves feed mainly on seed taken from the ground, but will take other items such as soaked bread. They can be agricultural pests. This is a gregarious bird when not feeding, and forms flocks especially at migration time or at communal roosts.


It builds a small stick nest in a tree and lays two white eggs. These hatch in 12-14 days with another 9 days to fledging.

Feeding habits

The Eared Dove is common to abundant in savannahs and other open areas, including cultivation, and it readily adapts to human habitation, being seen on wires and telephone posts near towns in Trinidad and Venezuela, and feeding near beach resorts in Tobago.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Eared Dove status Least Concern


At intervals of 2-3 years, appears in compact flocks of 1000’s in North East Brazil in April June. Nomadic in Argentina. Nesting locations may be used as a post-breeding roost from where birds disperse in search of food. Birds have been seen to return to traditional roosting sites even after the trees had been felled, when they may roost on ground or in low shrubs. On Trinidad and Tobago, may gather in post-breeding flocks of 50-100 individuals. Has recently colonised St Lucia, St Vincent and Barbados, with 2 records from Martinique. Occasionally turns up in Falkland Islands and on Staten Island.

Distribution map

Eared Dove distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *