Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates

7/29/09

Bird; who the heck are you?

The Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) has made it to the Ranch. Originally its range was in warmer temperate areas ranging from southern Europe to Japan. It was introduced to the Bahamas in the 1970s and spread to Florida by the early 1980s. It was first documented in Nevada in 2004.

Eurasian Collared-Dove: picture from wikimedia commons :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Collared_Dove_-upper_body_profile-8.jpg

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mourning_Dove_2006.jpg

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Collared.dove.jpg

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.

Resources:
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/

1 comment:

danwinnemucca said...

very interesting ~ crazy that these doves started in florida and made it all the way to the ranch, just like us last year.