Journey Through Time

By Sue

Eurasian Collared Dove

I was NOT going to put up a bird today, but....we've never seen this bird before, as far as we know. At least not in our yard anyway. Usually it's the mourning dove that we see. We were excited to see something entirely different in our back yard. It's not a good photo, but it's all I got before this one and it's mate took off. I hope they will be back. They aren't native, but as near as I can find, they aren't a particular threat to anything by being here.

I went with my aunt to the Clackamas Town Center Mall today for a bit of shopping, then we went to Penzey's Spice store, which I just learned about yesterday. I knew they were on-line but didn't know they had a retail store. Well, THAT was a fun place! I got my Aleppo Chili pepper for the Million Dollar Chicken recipe that I made awhile back. It called for this hard to find chili pepper, but I found it at this store. Then auntie and I had a little lunch and then her grocery errand, and then I headed for home where this bird topped off a lovely day. And after yesterday's almost 70 degree day the flowering trees are popping out all over the place. It looks like spring has sprung. Rain returns for a day, then the promise of a nice weekend and then more spring showers. That's the way it is in the great PNW. Take care, blip friends.

The Collared Dove is not migratory, but is strongly dispersive. Over the last century, it has been one of the great colonisers of the bird world. Its original range at the end of the 19th century was warm temperate and subtropical Asia from Turkey east to southern China and south through India to Sri Lanka. In 1838 it was reported in Bulgaria, but not until the 20th century did it expand across Europe, appearing in parts of the Balkans between 1900–1920, and then spreading rapidly northwest, reaching Germany in 1945, Great Britain by 1953 (breeding for the first time in 1956), Ireland in 1959, and the Faroe Islands in the early 1970s. Subsequent spread was 'sideways' from this fast northwest spread, reaching northeast to north of the Arctic Circle in Norway and east to the Ural Mountains in Russia, and southwest to the Canary Islands and northern Africa from Morocco to Egypt, by the end of the 20th century. In the east of its range, it has also spread northeast to most of central and northern China, and locally (probably introduced) in Japan. It has also reached Iceland as a vagrant (41 records up to 2006), but has not colonised successfully there.
There are two subspecies, Streptopelia decaocto decaocto in most of the range (including all of the 20th century colonisations), and Streptopelia decaocto xanthocyclus in the southeast of the range from Burma east to southern China. The latter differs in having yellow skin around the eye (white in the nominate subspecies). Two other subspecies formerly sometimes accepted, Streptopelia decaocto stoliczkae from Turkestan in central Asia, and Streptopelia decaocto intercedens from southern India and Sri Lanka, are now considered synonyms of S. d. decaocto.

The Collared Dove was introduced into the Bahamas in the 1970s and spread from there to Florida by 1982. It has become invasive; the stronghold in North America is still the Gulf Coast, but it is now found as far south as Puerto Escondido and Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, as far west as California, and as far north as Alaska, Alberta, the Great Lakes, and Nova Scotia. Their relatively early presence in the Cancún area may suggest they arrived there overwater. Some of the more distantly dispersed records may refer to local escapes from captivity. Its impact on other species there is as yet unknown; it appears to occupy an ecological niche between that of the Mourning Dove and the Rock Pigeon (also an invasive species in North America). In Arkansas (United States), the species was recorded first in 1989 and since then has grown in numbers and is now present in 42 of 75 counties in the state. It spread from the southeast corner of the state in 1997 to the northwest corner in 5 years, covering a distance of about 500 km (310 mi) at a rate of 100 km (62 mi) per year. This is more than double the rate of 45 km (28 mi) per year observed in Europe.

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