by Bob Walker
The Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is a non-migratory year-around resident of Los Alamos County. Since Collared-Doves were originally introduced into the Bahamas in the 1970s, they have since spread to Florida, and from there to the Caribbean, and all of North America ranging from southern Alaska to Panama. They are easily identified by the narrow black collar that circles the back of their necks. Otherwise, they are light gray or very light tan color. These are fairly large, plump birds, but not as large as the feral pigeons that you will often find at Ashley Pond. They feed enthusiastically on seed, taking advantage of the proliferation of backyard feeders. They favor perching and roosting in trees of the urban landscape.
Eurasian Collared-Doves generate a lot of interest among researchers who follow their rapid expansion into North America. Much of what is known about their breeding habits comes from European and Asian populations.
You can easily hear Eurasian Collared-Doves cooing, especially in the mornings, and it’s a easily recognizable call. Listen below for their tell-tale three-note “koo-kooooo-kooo” song:
Find more detailed articles about Eurasian Collared-Doves on these web pages: identify.whatbird.com and allaboutbirds.org. You can see excellent photos of Eurasian Collared-Doves at the Brian Small web site. For more images, perform an image search on Google or Flickr, and you’ll see many good photographs.