Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Eurasian Collared-Dove- the odd addition

New Orleans has three common dove species- Rock Pigeon (city pigeon), Mourning Dove, and Eurasian Collared-Dove.

(if you are lucky you may also have White-winged Doves in your hood; and on the North Shore Inca Doves are establishing a presence in places)

The Eurasian Collared-Dove is a newcomer to the state, having first appeared here at Ft. Pike around 1990.  They were brought to the Bahamas by humans, and spread westward like gangbusters.  They are now established to the West Coast states!

Although they are superficially like Mourning Doves, they are paler and grayer- a light gray color.  They had a black chevron mark on the back of the neck.  Their tail is square tipped (round when fanned)- very unlike the pointed tip of the "MoDo."

Two things about this species always strike me:

- over and over, they fool me for a second into thinking I am seeing a raptor.  This happens when they are doing their gliding courtship flight with wings held broad and tail fanned (which unfortunately, they do alot!)

- in addition to their very dove-like, mellow courting call (ooo ooo-ooo), they had a common vocalization that always hits me as utterly un-dove-like: a harsh, raspy, slurred hurrrrr.

In the early days, their stronghold was at the river edge by Audubon Park (and the grain elevator across the River).  Now they are pretty widespread, and often visible on the wires along commercial streets.


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