Eurasian Collared-Dove: picture from wikimedia commons :
At first glance this bird looks very much like the common, yet beautiful mourning dove (Zenaida macroura). However, if you take a closer look you will notice that the Collared-dove is much larger than the mourning dove and in flight the collared-dove does not have the distinctive pointed tail feathers that is characteristic of the mourning dove. The tail of the collared-dove is medium-long and square with a think white tail band at the end. In addition the collared-dove has a black half-collar that goes all the way around the back of the birds neck where the mourning dove has black cheek patches that do not go all the way around its neck.
Mourning Dove Picture from Wikimedia Commons:
When I first saw a collared-dove here at the ranch I thought; "wow, the mourning doves here sure are fat and happy." Then I saw one fly and thought, "that's not a mourning dove?" I looked in my books and the closest bird I could find was the ringed turtle-dove (Streptopelia risoria), but it didn't quite seem to fit the description. Then a visitor came to the ranch while I was in Reno and told Suzy that the mystery bird is the Eurasian collared-dove, which was not in my bird book, and the description I found seems to fit quite well.
Eurasian Collared-Dove: picture from Wikimedia Commons:
Since the Eurasian collared-dove is not native to the U.S. and it is spreading so quickly the full extent of its final range and its impacts on other bird species remain unknown.
Eurasian Collared-Dove, (n.d.), Retrieved July 28, 2009 from All About Birds: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eurasian_Collared-Dove/id
RRAS Christmas Bird Counts!, (January 10, 2009), Retrieved July 28, 2009 from the Red Rock Audubon Scociety: http://www.redrockaudubon.org/rras-activities/rras-christmas-bird-counts/