Eurasian Collared-dove increasing in north-central Washington
Last updated July 23, 2010
(Photo East Wenatchee, WA; July 23,2010)
This past week we've been enjoying the low pitched "coos" of the Eurasian Collared-dove (Streptopelia decaocto) in Kloshe Woods. This newcomer to north-central Washington is quickly increasing in numbers after spreading across North America during the end of the last century and the beginning of this one. The escape of a flock from an aviary in southern British Columbia certainly helped augment its spread here.
The Eurasian Collared-dove is a close relative of the smaller Turtle Dove, often kept as pets, and could be mistaken for it. Furthermore, Collared-doves have mated with local Mourning Doves, and hybrids can be found. The Collared-dove has a squared-off tail in comparison to the pointed tail of the Mourning Dove.
However, what began as an invasion from Asia across Europe during the 1900's, and followed by a jump to the Bahamas and into Florida, is coming to a final frontier as the doves have established themselves almost completely across the United States and into southern Canada. Now that the Collared-doves are here, their ecological impact will be evaluated.
So far Collared-doves have not been shown to be a threat to agricultural interests. They are grain feeders, but appear to congregate around grain elevators and in town, much like Rock Doves or Common Pigeons. For the most part they are not found in grain fields. Fruit is a minor portion of the Collared-dove diet.