Eurasian Collared Dove

Eurasian Collared Dove
(Streptopelia decaocto)

Three years ago, my neighbor sent me a photo of a Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) in his yard.  It has taken them three years to make it the quarter-mile or so to mine.  I now see this pair hanging out in my yard every day.  They appear to be attracted by the feeders.

This world-traveling species has an interesting story.  Their original homeland is south Asia, India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, according to iBird.  During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, they spread across Europe and eastward to into China.  By 1953, they had reached Britain.  Then in 1974, they were introduced into the Bahamas.  By the mid eighties, they were seen in Florida.  Since then, they have colonized most of the U.S., also reaching southern Canada and northern Mexico.  South Fidalgo Island now appears to be part of their range.

They are extremely shy.  If I get anywhere near the front yard, they escape to the big firs.  I had given up ever getting a picture.  Then, the other evening, I was out getting photos of the robins nesting in my fuchsia basket.  I spotted the pair perched on the chimney and was able to get several shots.  They apparently felt safe up there.

It remains to be seen how their spread will impact our native Mourning Doves.  I have not seen any in the yard since the Collared Doves appeared this summer.  I have also been watching for youngsters.  It is possible these doves are nesting in my big Douglas Firs.