Monday, August 3, 2009

Coming to a backyard near you... Eurasian Collared-Dove

Eurasian Collared-DoveEurasian Collared-Dove, Dilley, Oregon on 28 February 2009 by Greg Gillson. Note the square tail, dark undertail coverts, brownish primaries, and black hind-neck mark.

 

Introduced to the Bahamas in about 1974, this species made it on its own to Florida about 1980 and spread across the North American continent. The first Oregon record was in 1998 and first Washington state record was in 2000 (Birds of Oregon: a general reference. 2003. Marshall, Hunter, and Contreras).

In my home area of Washington County, in NW Oregon, the first birds were found in July 2006. In a recent day of traveling around the county doing errands (not birding), I spotted 12 birds in 8 different areas around Forest Grove, Oregon.

Eurasian Collared-Doves are larger and paler than Mourning Doves. They are quite similar to the cage birds, Ringed Turtle-Doves (domesticated African Collared-Doves), escapees of which may be found in the wild, occasionally. Ringed Turtle-Doves are smaller than Mourning Doves, thus Eurasian Collared-Doves are huge compared to any escaped Ringed Turtle-Doves.

Eurasian Collared-DoveThree years after the first bird was found in the county, Eurasian Collared-Doves are now daily feeder birds in my yard in Forest Grove, Oregon, as seen in this photo from 19 July 2009 by Greg Gillson.

 

The Eurasian Collared-Doves are very pale cream. In fact, some birders have begun to call them "Sky-Rat Lattes." This is in reference to another invasive species, the European Starlings ("Sky-Rats"), and this dove's pale coffee-and-cream coloration. I'm not sure that the link to starlings is all that fair, though. Eurasian Collared-Doves have shown no signs that they will displace Mourning Doves or any other species as the European Starlings have done to native North American cavity nesting birds.

The undertail base of the Eurasian Collared-Dove is dark slate and the tail is square with pale corners. This is in contrast to the long pointed tail with white tail sides of Mourning Dove. There is a black crescent on the back of the neck of the Eurasian Collared-Dove.

As do Mourning Doves, Eurasian Collared-Doves like agricultural areas, and can be found in residential and urban area feeders. Often they seem to choose nest sites in dense conifers (non-native blue spruce) in yards in small communities on the edge of agricultural areas. They frequently perch on telephone wires--looking like Mourning Doves bulked-up on steroids. They have a loud, unique cooing coo-COO-cook.

40 comments:

  1. Amazing how dove species seem to spread so "successfully". White-winged Doves may be the the Pac NW some day soon.

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  2. We live in Newport, OR and a pair of Eurasian Collared doves just showed up at our feeder a couple of days ago. They seem to be hanging around in the trees cooing away. We live right above the bay and real close to the ocean. They don't seem to mind the breeze. There is plenty for them to eat.

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  3. Hermiston, OR. We had one show up in our back yard where we have a fish pond. It would just sit on our bridge over the pond then fly down to a large rock in the pond. Do they eat fish or do you think it was just drinking. It is a very pretty bird. We do live next to a vacant field that may be why it chose this area...

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  4. Merrill, OR. We had one show up where we are feeding birds. This is a rural area across from hay fields with a juniper hillside behind us. We thought he might be a turtle dove at first until we were informed by a refuge person.

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  5. Hood River, OR. One pair showed up in our neighborhood in about March 2008 and increased to around a dozen in last summer. Now they are all over town and too many to count. We love their presence and their peacful cooing, hard to view them as Starlngs.

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  6. Portland,OR. Last weekend we had a pair show up in the fir trees surrounding our backyard pond and waterfall in St. Johns (N. Portland). It was quite exciting to do the research and find out what they were. They make a wonderful sound and we hope they come back.

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  7. Lakeside, Oregon

    Many pairs of these all around town. Never saw any until this year.

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  8. Seen in East Wenatchee, WA. on 6/8/2010

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  9. Although I am not an expert birder, I believe I have a large colony of Eurasian Collard-Doves feeding in the extensive swamp forest on and around my property in Gig Harbor, Washington. Some afternoons there are as many as 100-200 total birds. They create lots of rustling in the treetops, sometimes snapping small twigs and creating a ruckus that would make one think a larger animal is crashing through the woods. I belive they are feeding mostly on fruits of Rhamnus purshiana, maybe also on Prunus emarginata, Sorbus aucuparia, Hedera helix, or other small fleshy fruits. I had been perplexed by what species these birds where when I first saw them, but am pretty sure by now that they are this invasive species. If there are any local birders reading this, I would appreciate any confirmation. Edwin Bridges, Gig Harbor, WA: euphorbia1@gmail.com

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  10. Edwin, I suspect your flocks of pigeons in the swamp are native Band-tailed Pigeons.

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  11. The collared doves have taken to flocking into a maple tree in the front yard just before sundown. Every evening between 10-20 of them roost and make a lot of flapping noises as they settle in for the night. They leave at sunrise and can be seen around the neighborhood during the day. I'm curious what they will do as the maple loses it leaves and winter approaches.

    Jeff
    Lakeside, OR

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  12. Just saw two at my feeder in Richland, WA, Christmas Day. Thought about the "turtledoves" in that "12 Days" song.
    Mateo Thomas

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  13. We now have Eurasian collared doves in Klamath County near Chiloquin. I'm right now - as I type - looking at a half dozen of them in our bird feeder along the Williamson River. They are certainly this species of collared doves which we see at least as frequently as the mourning doves here.

    Apparently the ice and cold doesn't affect them too much as it has been close to zero the past few nights with daytime temps in the 20s...and lots of snow on the ground. The elevation is about 4150'.

    Bill

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    1. Bill,

      Just back from the Winter Wings Festival in Klamath Falls last month. As I was driving through Chiloquin I saw collared doves there myself, one year later.

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  14. We had several in the area this morning in Warrenton on the Oregon Coast. I was surprised to hear doves in January, as I know most of the Morning Doves vacate as the cold hits in September, However they sounded different, The koo was rapid. Later in the day we finally spotted a pair coming to feed.

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  15. The doves here vanished here last November. I have not seen a single one since, but am hoping they will come back as the weather gets better.

    Jeff
    Lakeside,Or

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  16. I had a Eurasian collared dove at my feeder today in Ashland, Oregon and also a few days ago. Any other sightings near Ashland?

    Francie March 4, 2011

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  17. A pair of Eurasian Collered Doves are now showing up at my feeders in Grand Mound, WA

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  18. I just saw my first one yesterday. I thought I heard an owl, but when I went outside, here this thing was. Huh!

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  19. We have two pair just showed up in cold Bend, Oregon...

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  20. Just a note for KimQuiltz:

    West of the Cascades the Band-tailed Pigeon sounds quite a bit more like an owl than the Eurasian Collared-Dove. The Band-taileds are migrants. Though a few may winter in larger cities, most do not arrive until March or April.

    Band-taileds are found primarily in woods and forest, the collared-doves more in towns and agricultural areas.

    Greg

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  21. We have a pair feeding at our home in Longview WA

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  22. We have one Eurasian Collared Dove that's been showing up on our feeder every day for about a week. This is the first time we've seen one in our area. I've been looking up info. about it cuz it's so persistently staying here I was beginning to get concerned about where it came from and why it was alone.
    We live on Totten Inlet just outside Shelton WA.

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  23. we have many collared Eurasian doves in Warrenton. the books say they don't fare well in the wild, but it would seem they are doing quite well.

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  24. Thanks to this site, I was able to positively identify Eurasian Collard Doves that have been around our rural area on Fidalgo Island, Wash. for about six weeks.

    We hear them all day long.


    .

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  25. From Tom Corr: I have at least three Eurasian Collard Doves in my back yard. They began suddenly appearing in mid-to-late May. Two appear to be mates. I counted one series of "coo-coo-coos" that was repeated 14 times with a quick breath and 14 more. The mating pair have an interesting flight pattern that runs between a tree in the neighbor's yard to a telephone pole in my yard to a tree in another neighbor's yard. On approach to perching, they make a "creeeee" sound about three times. They sometimes demonstrate the wing whistling of mourning doves.

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  26. After posting the last comment, I noticed that I forgot to state that I live in eastern Lebanon in Linn County, Oregon

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  27. The ones that I have observed do NOT have a black band on their necks and DO have a white band on the underside of their tails when fanned out.

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  28. Jul 16, 2011. Rainier, Oregon. First noticed a pair of Eurasian Collared Doves building a nest in my tall Doug Fir tree about 4 days ago.

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  29. Just spotted one of these beauties in my backyard in Auburn WA. Was feeding on spilled seed under my "feeder tree". I hope she comes back with friends!

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  30. Saw a pair last night in Jacksonville OR.

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  31. Noted a pair at our Yakima, WA WSDOT office parking lot picking up gravel a couple of weeks ago. We note the mourning dove a lot but it took until today reading this article to figure out what this variety was. We also have another variety of dove that are new this year four showed up to feed on our sheeps grain. Much bigger, light in color exactly like this variety but it has a distinctive yell that they make, like a crow would. It almost sounds like they are yelling maaa maaa with a long aaa sound. They do not look like a pigeon or sound like one, they look exactly like a dove. Anyone have any ideas?

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  32. The wailing call is typical of Eurasian Collared-Dove and often first draw's one attention to it.

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  33. For the last couple years I have noticed a pair of Eurasian Collared Doves here in my neighborhood in SE Albany, OR. I am on the edge of town with agricultural fields between me and the I-5 freeway. This website helped me to confirm their ID. They were on the street in front of my house eating seeds on the ground this morning. They seem to live in this neighborhood as I hear them regularly -- a very soothing sound!

    Carol

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  34. I just spotted a couple of these doves here in Medford, OR. They really are a lot bigger than the ones that frequent my yard. They have an interesting travel history, too. I contacted the ODFW Facebook page for info and they were kind enough to pass it on. Mary lou

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  35. I live in Clackamas county and have a pair that are at my feeders every day, I love watching them.

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  36. One of these doves appeared twice below my backyard feeder in the Olympia area during our recent snow/ice storm. Very pretty!

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  37. I just found a small flock in my yard this morning in Custer, WA near the border of Canada. Wow, first time I have seen them. The other birds are trying to chase them away.

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  38. We've seen several at the Arcata Marsh in the last year (Arcata, N. coastal California)

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  39. I live in the Bonney Lake WA area and just noticed what I think may be these birds in my yard about a week ago. They come a bit before sunset and roost until it gets dark, then fly away. I have heard them coo also. Never have seen them before and hope they keep visiting me. Have seen up to 14 at a time. Do they always have partners? I have not seen an uneven number yet. What can I put out for feed or nesting materials to entice them to stay? So glad I discovered this site.

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