Bird's Eye View of Bute

The Collared Dove

(1) Collared Dove
(1) Collared Dove
(2) Collared Dove
(2) Collared Dove
(3) Collared Dove
(3) Collared Dove
(4) Collared Dove
(4) Collared Dove
(5) Collared Dove
(5) Collared Dove
(6) Collard Dove
(6) Collard Dove
(7) Collard Dove
(7) Collard Dove
(8) Collard Dove
(8) Collard Dove
(9) Collard Dove
(9) Collard Dove
(10) Collard Dove
(10) Collard Dove
(11) Collard Dove
(11) Collard Dove

 

 

The Collared Dove

We look today at a bird that arrived in Britain in the 1950s." The Collared Dove". It spread across Europe from hot habitats in India to a much cooler and damper environment linked with man and spilt grain.

 

They started of breeding in Norfolk, then worked their way north, and then north eastwards to take in the Faroes and Iceland. By 1964 about 3,000 pairs were breeding. By 1972 they had increased to 30,000 - 40,000 pairs. Large town centres and open country are normally avoided by them, but gardens, shrubberies, allotments and farms attract them in some times large numbers.

They will frequent your bird table looking for seed and will sometimes let you get quite close to them if you move slowly. Their call, coo-cooo coo can get a bit monotonous, just after dawn, on a midsummer day, if they decide to pick your area for their daily serenade Theirs is also the call that is sometimes mistaken for a cuckoo in the springtime when ears are strained to hear the first one. They are small slim doves with long broad wings and tail. The tail is normally held shut but fans out when landing. As their name suggests they have a collar, or black neck slash, a body that is mostly buff in colour, a buff tail with white corners . With the underside black with a broad white tip, and short red legs.

Nest is a platform of twigs on a tree and they lay two white eggs. Thing is they can have up to five broods from March till September. No wonder they are doing so well! They , like all doves and pigeons are not welcome where there are crops ripening, as they will consume quite a lot of cereals. This can be seen when there are cereals planted near a wood. They stay very close to the wood in case they need cover in an emergency. The crop will be eaten in an ever widening semi-circle. This will go on until their eating area has stretched too far for safety, and then they will look for another area to start again. Like most doves and pigeons, they stay in flocks, but when the collard doves are spooked they will not go very far as they have become fairly tame as the years go by. Places to look for them. - Anywhere, but the outskirts of the town and farms are favourites.

Norrie Mulholland

First Published in the Buteman 15-11-2002


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