Friday, April 4, 2008

Dear Doves

I’ve been putting out chicken scratch for the voracious Red-wings and Eurasian Collared-Doves…and found my first possible anomaly. (Sorry the pics are bad: distance and double-paned windows are in the way. Have I mentioned I need a scope?)

I have a Leucistic visitor, maybe. Perhaps it is a Ringed Turtle-Dove, but I understand they are smaller birds than the Eurasian Doves…this bird doesn’t seem to be smaller. If it is a Turtle-Dove, it seems pretty far from where there are year-round population-map indicates they exist (along Gulf Coast and in California)…but then, the Eurasian Dove is marching across the America’s pretty darn fast, too!

One hundred years ago, the Eurasian Collared-Dove was found only in Europe, Turkey; the Indian subcontinent. When the species began expanding its range and by 1950 had reached the British Isles and today is living even in Scandinavia and arrived in Florida from the Bahamas, in the 1980’s after an unassisted migration.

In that Ringed Turtle-Doves, a common cage bird, that escapes and can appear anywhere, looks so much like the Eurasian Collared-Dove, the rapid march Eurasians were making across North America nearly went unnoticed. At least in 1998, Cornell was still asking for reports of either dove when seen at feeders and for photographs to be sent in, if possible, with their Project FeederWatch.

Check out the project here: …I’m going to take part.

UPDATE: Okay, I have been reading blogs, websites, and books regarding Doves and have yet to find more information untill now. Here is an interesting little discovery. The blogger discusses (and offers stunning photos) of an African Collared-Dove.........................formerly known as the Ringed Turtle-Dove??? Yup, her 2004 post says what is now Streptopelia roseogrisea was Streptopelia risoria. The blogger even offers an excellent photo of the two for comparrison. I am fairly certain 'my' bird is the same breed she compares to the Eurasian bird. Here is an interesting article on the Doves: DovePage

The problem I have with all this is: 'my' dove is lighter in color and not small. My photos clearly show it is about the same size as the Eurasian Dove.

Great...things are changing faster than I am learning 'em!

So, the Ringed Turtle-Dove (that I only just discovered), already has a new name? Heck...Sibley doesn't even list it...the new name, I mean. Please leave comments, I'd appreciate your help.


Camera Trap Codger said...

If you are still looking for additional references, I believe there was a "Doves and pigeons of the world" published a decade or two ago. It is one of those large format picture books, and I am not sure of the title or author, but you might be able to hunt it down in a library or thru Amazon. Size color, eye, cere, beak and foot color will all be important to note accurately. There are also aviculturists who specialize in doves, and if you can hunt one of them down, you can probably get a quick answer. You might want to try the Denver of Colorado Springs Zoos -- write a letter and include a photograph. It will probably be routed to the bird curator. They may also have the book. Good luck.

Beverly said...

Chris, thank you so much for your suggestions. Actually, continuing to look for answers, I went farther into a page I actually linked to and found: The International Dove Society. This group states the Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is also known as Indian Ringdove, Collared Dove, Collared Turtle Dove, Eastern Ringdove, Eurasian Ringdove…so perhaps I am merely playing with semantics.

I also looked further into Bill Schmoker’s site of photos and found this. He includes a couple shots of what he describes as ‘Leucistic Eurasian Collared-Doves’. It seems to me the bird I saw was lighter yet, but it did have some very light grey shadowing where Bill’s photo shows on his bird.

Unfortunately, my photos (through a net-covered, double-pained window with a shorter lens), are not good enough to continue the research you suggested. I cannot even see the bird’s feet, and it hasn’t been back to study. I’m going with my first instincts…this is a Leucisic/Leucistic (?) Eurasian Collared-Dove.

Still, I very much appreciate your response and continued encouragement for research!

Mel said...

Hi Beverly!
I know the feeling of having so many things to learn in just one go! And the changing info too :S
Hope you get a definitive id on that dove. Good luck!!