Monday, May 17, 2010

Eurasian Collared Doves

This spring, I've seen dove-like birds a couple of miles from my house, when I've been taking my daughter to school. It is common to see pigeons here, but not doves and certainly not in my yard. I recall seeing birds of this family in my yard only twice in the 7 years I've lived in this house.
Today, when I'd finished eating lunch, I looked out my window and saw two birds in the oak tree. At first glance, I thought they were Mourning Doves - regardless, they looked lovely in my tree. I got the camera and got a couple of shots from the open window and decided to try to get closer by going outside. I got a decent photo or two in spite of the rain, and then, came in to crop and identify.
I was looking under "Mourning Doves," (no crescent under the eyes); "Turtle Doves," (no speckled wings), and finally, by describing the bird to a friend, found out that they were "Eurasian Collared Doves" - duh! You'd think the collar should have helped me guess ;)
They were introduced to the United States through the Bahamas and then Florida. They quickly spread to the west coast and in northern regions of Canada. They've even been seen in Nova Scotia, where I am from! They eat grain from the ground and can be tamed enough to eat out of your hand. Some are kept as pets.
If you are not familiar with the bird, and would like to read more about them, here are a couple of links.
As I sit here, I can hear their coo-COOO -coo in the backyard, and I'm smiling hugely at the sound of it, even though no one is here to see it ;)

1 comment:

Jayne said...

What a great composition Diane! I've only seen one in my yard and they are quite impressive. Much larger than a Mourning Dove, and I love that little collar. :c)