Eared Dove
Zenaida auriculata

AKA: Violet-eared Dove, Blue-eared Dove, Bronze-necked Dove, Golden-necked Dove

© Jeff Downing

©Jeff Downing

Distribution: Generally found in the arid & semi arid habitats of South America, Tinidad, Tobago and other islands in the southern Caribbean Sea & southern Lesser Antilles in the West Indies.

Eleven races recognized: 
Z. a. auriculata (Des Murs 1847)
Z. a. rubripes (Lawrence 1855)
Z. a. hypoleuca (Bonaparte 1855) 
Z. a. caucae (Chapman 1922)
Z. a. antioquiae (Chapman 1917) 
Z. a. ruficauda (Bonaparte 1855) 
Z. a. vinaceorufa (Ridgway 1884) 
Z. a. jessieae (Ridgway 1888)
Z. a. marajoensis (Berlepsch 1913) 
Z. a. noronha (Sharpe 1890) 
Z. a. virgata (Bertoni 1901) 

©Juan Tassara B.
Peruvian race - Z. a. hypoleuca

Description: Length 22-28 cm. Very similar in appearance, including color pattern & coloration to the Mourning Dove (Z. macroura). Has a shorter & less graduated tail feathers; a much more slender bill. Crown, nape and hindneck a bluish grey. Lower mark on side neck is dark iridescent blue. Sides of neck a iridescent bronze-green or pink & amethyst. Rest of head, neck & breast a dull buffish pink to purplish pink shading to reddish buff or pale cream or white on belly, undertail coverts & vent region. Female: usually duller & less pink on the chest or breast area, with individual variation of the races. Juvenile: browner with buffish brown feather edges; also lacks any of the pink & grey coloration of adults.

©Jeff Downing

Nesting: Has been recorded nesting on the ground throughout its range. Most nests are found in a tree or shrub. In Argentina and north-eastern Brazil this specie has been recorded nesting in huge colonies (suggestive of the extinct Passenger Pigeon) which may number from 1 million to 5 million birds. Flocks in Brazil have also been recorded,  every 3 years or more, congregating in huge flocks to migrate for unknown reasons. Clutch consists of 2 white eggs; incubation is 14 days & young fledge in another 2 weeks.