Monday, 2 February 2009

The 'Collared Dove'

This afternoon a confiding Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaoto) spent some time loitering in the hawthorn and allowed me to get some reasonable pictures.
It is an anaemically coloured dove with a long tail and a thin but conspicuous white-edged black neck ring. The underside of its wing is uniform pale colour, not contrasting with its belly. Easy to tell in flight with its distinctive wing flicks without a constant beat. It also has a highly repetitve call which sounds like 'un-i-ted' as chanted by certain football fans. Starting around 1900 this dove made what has become one of the most rapid expansions ever recorded for a bird working on its own terms.Working its way from Turkey, roughly northwest, it settled in central Europe by 1957, Britain, France & Italy by 1963 and then northern Spain & southwest Fennoscandia by 1977. By the end of the century it had made its way eastwards to the Caspian Sea and beyond. The population in Europe at the beginning of the 21st century is estimated as 14 million pairs.


  1. :) Nice pictures. I have seen feral Collared doves in Southern California. Thanks for the additional data.

  2. Great pictures Frank. I'm still looking for my first one.

  3. Beautiful pictures Frank. Is this the same as the Eurasian Collared Dove? We have rare sightings of the here in Minnesota.

  4. The Eurasian-collared Dove was introduced in the Bahama Islands in 1974 and it has spread so quickly that it is now a common bird in my rural Iowa town miles away from there. It's amazing how quickly they spread!

  5. Hi,
    A very nice bird in very nice condition... The snow and the light are wonderful... A nice spotting too... Congrats.

  6. Hi everyone..sorry original post was slightly incomplete - the effect of all the snow yesterday!

    Steve & Tucker it just proves how far they have spread.

    Lynne - You are correct it is 'Eurasian'.

    Richard, you are not doing so bad. I'm just trying to catch up. Sometimes it is just luck plus a tweek or two on the laptop.

    Chris - Comments from an expert are appreciated. Thank you.

    P.S. We have just had an avalanche of snow sliding off the roof so being stuck at home again I'll have to do some more ground clearance!

  7. Lovely photos Frank. I've never seen one here, but know others have had sightings.

  8. Thanks Jayne, I'm sure you will catch up with one soon.

  9. You got some really nice pictures of this pretty dove.
    I had one of these doves in my backyard a few years ago. It stayed only a few days, but got lots of birders in the area excited as they're not very common in southeastern Minnesota.

  10. Thanks Ruthie. I hope you made the birders pay for the pleasure!


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