The eared dove (Zenaida auriculata) is a New World dove. It 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. It appears to be partially migratory, its movements driven by food supplies.
The eared dove is 24 cm (9.4 in) long with a long wedge-shaped tail, and weighs normally about 112 g (4.0 oz). Adult males have mainly olive-brown upper part 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.
Eared doves provide the last big-bag shooting experience in the world. There are reckoned to be more than 23 million of these doves in the fields around Cordoba in northern Argentina, and recent estimates put the figure in the 32 million range. It is not unknown for a single gun to shoot 1000 birds in a day.
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