Saturday, January 7, 2012

A new Backyard Dove

Here is a strange addition to our backyard fauna: I think it is a leucistic Eurasian Collared Dove. Last year one lonely Eurasians moved in and tried to make friends with resident Mourning Doves. Now there are three including this very light one. The question is now whether it's a fawn-colored variant of the Eurasian Collared, a leucistic bird (which might be the same thing) or a very light Ringed Turtle Dove (domestic variety).  Since it is the same size as the other Eurasians I believe it's one of them.

Native Mourning Dove  left,  normal-colored Eurasion Collared Dove in the middle and our light-colored new one on the right
 Interestingly the Eurasian Collared doves were just expanding their range from eastern Europe to Germany when I was a kid. In the eighties they were already our most common doves in Western Germany. Here in the US they were introduced in Florida and are spreading rapidly west. I've seen them for years at Sweetwater.

Mourning Dove nest in our potting shed
The Collared doves will certainly be competitors of the Mourning Doves. But the locals have enormous breeding success, raising clutch after clutch all year round in every possible niche, flower pot, top of a cactus, awning, shelf....

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