New Dove

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

This close cousin of the Mourning Dove is “new” in two ways. I’ve not seen it before, so it’s new to me. And historically it’s a new arrival in the U.S. They originated in India and have been long established in Europe and Asia. The accepted history is that a pet shop owner in the Bahamas released a flock of about 50 in the mid 1970s. A few found their way to Florida, and from there they spread all over North America, from southern Canada down to about central Mexico. Additional releases in the U.S. may have helped it along. Like the Mourning Dove, it’s been a beneficiary of human settlement, particularly the spread of bird feeders. It forages mostly on the ground but will take grains, seeds, berries and some greenery where found. It’s a vegetarian, rarely eating a bug; feeds its chicks with a “milk” that it makes in its throat. Builds nests in trees. Monogamous for the season, sometimes longer. I only saw this one and didn’t hear an answering call to its cooing. If there are two or more, chances are they will nest here.

Note in the video that the bird makes its cooing song with its bill closed. The throat muscles show the effort. The bird perched high in a pine tree at the edge of the Hilton hotel.

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