Eurasian Collared Doves breed nearly year round in their native range.
They build a flimsy twig nest in trees, on building ledges, and in thick
bushes. Two sub-elliptical, smooth white eggs (30 x 23 mm) hatch in about 14
- 16 days. Young fledge in about 15 - 18 days and leave the nest area at
about 21 days (Baicich and Harrison 1997). From 3 to 6 broods may be fledged
in a breeding season.
Males and females in this colony in Lebanon, Indiana have been observed
mating as late as October.
According to the Bird Banding Lab web site, 1 Eurasian Collared Dove was
banded prior to 2000 in North America. The bird pictured above, banded in
October 2000, was still present in 2002. Banding studies show that these
doves are for the most part resident birds.
Economic Benefit and Conservation
These doves experienced one of the most remarkable range changes in the
1900’s. Prior to the 1930’s, their range was restricted to southeastern
Europe when suddenly, and for no apparent reason, they began to expand
their range westward. They first bred in the UK in 1955, and now occur in
such extremes as Iceland, Spain, and above the Arctic Circle in Norway
(Ehrlich, et al. 1994).
In Georgia, where they are well established, these doves do not seem to
have a detrimental impact on native species, and appear to occupy a niche
in the well developed suburbs somewhere between the Rock Doves (Pigeons)
in the city and the Mourning Doves in open country (Ray Chandler, Georgia
Southern University, pers comm). They feed on agricultural grains, leaves,
fruits and seeds.
As these birds expand their range in North America, it will be
interesting to observe the impact of this introduced species on
populations of native birds, and to learn what ecological/geographical
barriers finally limit their range expansion.
North America has several open niches created when native species like
the Passenger Pigeon, the Carolina Parakeet and other species went
extinct. Perhaps this dove will utilize part of the niche left vacant with
the passing of the Passenger Pigeon and other bird species.
Baicich, P. J. and C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. A guide to the nests, eggs,
and nestlings of North American Birds, 2nd ed. Academic Press, New York.
Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, D. Wheye, S. L. Pimm. 1994. The
Birdwatcher’s Handbook. A guide to the natural history of the birds of
Britain and Europe. Oxford University Press.
Flint, V. E., R. L. Boehme, Y. V. Kostin, A. A. Kuznetsov. 1984. A field
guide to the Birds of the USSR. English Edition. Princeton University Press.
Hollom. P. A. D., R. F. Porter, S. Christensen, I. Willis. 1988. Birds of
the Middle East and North Africa. Buteo Books.
Jonsson, L. 1992. Birds of Europe with North Africa and the Middle East.
Princeton University Press.
Stokes, D. and L. Stokes. 1996. Stokes Field Guide to Birds. Eastern
Region. Little, Brown and Co.
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