Do Eurasian doves mate with Mourning Doves?

Answered by Tom Adger

Eurasian Collared-Doves and Mourning Doves are both species of doves found in North America. While it is known that hybridization can occur between different species of doves, the occurrence of hybrids between Eurasian Collared-Doves and Mourning Doves seems to be rare.

Hybridization is the process by which individuals from different species mate and produce offspring. In some cases, when closely related species come into contact and overlap in their ranges, they may attempt to mate with each other, resulting in hybrid offspring. Hybrids often exhibit a mix of characteristics from both parent species.

In the case of Eurasian Collared-Doves and Mourning Doves, reports of hybridization have been documented, but they are not common. This could be due to a variety of factors. One possible explanation is that as the population of Eurasian Collared-Doves has increased in North America, the need for individuals to mate with other species may have declined. Eurasian Collared-Doves are now well-established and abundant in many areas, and they may have a larger pool of potential mates available within their own species.

Additionally, the two species may have differences in behavior, habitat preferences, or other factors that reduce the likelihood of successful hybridization. For example, Eurasian Collared-Doves are known to be highly adaptable and often found in urban and suburban areas, while Mourning Doves are more commonly associated with open woodlands and agricultural fields. Differences in breeding behaviors or timing could also play a role in limiting hybridization.

It’s important to note that while reports of hybridization between Eurasian Collared-Doves and Mourning Doves are rare, it doesn’t mean that it never occurs. Hybridization can be influenced by various factors, including population densities, geographic distribution, and individual behaviors. As our understanding of bird behavior and genetic studies continues to advance, we may learn more about the potential for hybridization between these two dove species.

While hybrids between Eurasian Collared-Doves and Mourning Doves have been reported, they appear to be rare. The increasing population of Eurasian Collared-Doves and potential differences in behavior or habitat preferences may contribute to the reduced occurrence of hybridization. However, it is important to continue studying and monitoring bird populations to further understand the dynamics of hybridization and its impact on species interactions.