Colour - head, back, and wings black; belly and centre of the underside of the wing white

Length - 20 to 23 cm

Shape - bill conical and very short; neck inconspicuous

Behaviour - usually found in large flocks; a strong diver; diet consists mainly of zooplankton, small fish, and benthic invertebrates

Distribution - in summer, breeds in dense colonies commonly in western Greenland, but also in Canada; many feed in eastern Lancaster Sound (they have been recorded occasionally at Resolute) and Baffin Bay before and after breeding (as many as 1.5 million birds may be in this area); migrates to southern Greenland, Labrador, and Newfoundland in winter (adults and young may be seen to swim or fly together during the migration)

Sensitivity - see Sensitivity Information on the Birds - General Information page

Note - Dovekies breed on western Greenland in dense colonies in summer, where they are sought as food by human inhabitants. They come to feed in the Lancaster Sound and Baffin Bay area before and after breeding. As many as 1.5 million birds may be in this region in the summer, and their droppings fertilize the soil surrounding the colonies allowing the growth of vegetation which would not survive well in the region otherwise.

 [Dovekie] Dovekie (52 KB) Lancaster Sound Area
Distribution Maps:
Fall Scenario
Spring (Ice Scenario 1)
Coronation Gulf Area
Distribution Maps:
See the Birds - General Information page.


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