The species is widely distributed across the Northern Hemisphere, North America from southern and central Alaska to Mexico, the Hawaiian Islands, and across Eurasia, from Iceland and southern Greenland and parts of Morocco in the west, Scandinavia to the north, and to Siberia, Japan, and China in the east. It can also be found in New Zealand, and Australia. It tends to migrate south in the winter.
Height is 50 - 65 cm. Wingspan of 81 - 98 cm. Male birds have glossy green heads and are grey on the wings and bellies. They have white collars and purple colored chests. Males can be identified by their yellowish orange bills that are tipped with black. Females are mostly brown and speckled in appearance. Both genders have purple markings on their tails, which can be observed during flight.
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