Species Spotlight: Eared Dove
Species: Eared Dove
Latin Name: Zenaida auriculata
Average Speed: A strong flier with speeds of up to 55 mph
Shooting Season: The Shooting season for Eared Dove runs all year round in the Province of Cordoba in Argentina and Uruguay.
The Eared Dove is approximately 9.4 inches long with a long wedge-like tail and weighs around 4.0 oz. The adults have mainly an olive/brown plumage and little black spots on their wings. The head has a grey crown, black line behind the eye , and the blue black on the ear coverts. The black markings give the species its English and specific “Eared” name. The female is duller than the male and when in their early stages are grey-ish brown, very dull with pale barring.
They are massive agricultural pests and they are a gregarious bird when not feeding, and form flocks especially at migration time or at communal roosts in the day. Its flight is high, fast and direct and their sharp flicks of their wings are very similar to that of the Pigeon. There is no fixed breeding season for the Dove and they are provided with plentiful food and habitat to enable them to breed all year round.
Eared Doves provide the ”big bag” shooting experience most people will ever encounter. There are said to be around 25 million of these Doves in the fields around Córdoba in Northern Argentina but recent estimates put the figure in the region of 32 million. During a shoot day, it is not uncommon for a gun to shoot numbers in the late hundreds per day. The Eared Doves around Córdoba do not migrate and the ginormous flocks are continuously flying between their roosting woods and open fields. They are also known in Argentina as “Palomas Doradas” because of their shining feathers sometimes present in their feathers.
Dove shooting over the last few years has become one of the best high volume shooting sports. The sheer numbers of Doves over different terrains make for some top-class shooting. Regardless if you are shooting Doves over low lying crops or in the valleys as they return to roost, this type of shooting is going to do both – test and sharpen up your skills. Combine all this with top-class accommodation and expert guides, it’s no wonder why Dove Shooting Holidays are a high priority on most serious guns wish list. Not only is it just the more experienced shots who can enjoy a great time away but the beginner gun too. There will be plenty of professional staff on hand to make sure they’re safe and have the opportunity to have a shot at some less challenging birds.