Saturday, November 13, 2010

Eurasian Collared Doves (Part 1)

Well, I've been trying not to start posting about the doves.  It was inevitable though since they are integral to my daily back yard birding, especially in Winter.

Yesterday afternoon, one of the white-buff ones, plus a few browns and dove-greys were all feeding just outside my window.  Six of them clustered together for a little photo-op.  I couldn't resist.  I rather think this is a family group.

Eurasian Collared Doves  Streptopelia decaocto

  • The Eurasian Collared-Dove is one of two species that have been argued to be the wild ancestor of the domestic Barbary Dove.
  • Their scientific name, Streptopeleia decaocto, literally means a collar (streptos) dove (peleia). In Greek mythology, Decaocto was an overworked, underpaid servant girl. The gods heard her prayers for help and changed her into a dove so she could escape her misery. The dove’s call still echoes the mournful cries of her former life.
  • Introduced into the Bahamas in the 1970s, some migrated to Florida in the 1980s. They went unnoticed at first because they look much like the Ringed Turtle-Dove. It wasn't until the mid-1980s that ornithologists realized the suddenly prolific and quickly spreading "turtle-doves" they were watching were actually Eurasian Collared-Doves. Their impact on native species is unknown; some have suggested that their spread represents exploitation of a niche made available by the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon.
  • A group of doves has many collective nouns, including a "bevy", "cote", "dole", "dule", and "flight" of doves.

I will post many more photos and talk about this species much more over the next few weeks.  Yes, they are invasive; however, I admire their ability to survive.  These transplants from mild climates manage to cope with our harsh, extremely cold winters.  They lose toes to frostbite in the process, but the population continues to increase.  They are also very pretty and interesting birds.


  1. Love the photo! Send some of those lovely doves up our way!

  2. Have to head out your way to see one of these lifers Kathy,still have not seen one in Manitoba,then again they are scarce do not hear of many reports in Manitoba

  3. great dove pics Kath, I have a few around here, not so much now; love their cooing! LG