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Collared Dove: love birds

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Collared Dove: love birds

It would be hard to confuse the collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) with anything else although I have heard people refer to it as the ringed dove which is actually at totally different non-British species. Until the early 1950's the collared dove was a non-British species too, being more at home in the Balkans. During the 1930's it suddenly began to spread across Europe and arrived in Britain in 1954 (as far I can ascertain). Its arrival had the 'twitchers' of its day quite excited but now it is just a common bird seen near human habitation from farms to city centres right across the United Kingdom. It entered the RSPB Garden Birdwatch top ten in 1989 and has since gone on to reach number 7 in 2014.

There are signs, however, that this population explosion may be at and end and that numbers may be dwindling. Early days but it will be interesting to see how it fairs in the coming year. It is not clear whether disease is an issue or whether it is just a natural cycle and they are about to gradually withdraw back to the roots in eastern Europe.

Of all garden birds, this is the species we almost always see in pairs, no matter what time of year. When one flies in its mate is not far behind and they always seem to leave together too. I had hoped to find out whether they mate for life but I have had no success but the fact they are usually in pairs and that they breed for nine moths of the year feeding one lot of young whilst brooding the next clutch of eggs must indicate that it is likely. Even in January the prelude to another years frantic family life has started with the male singing its monotonous tones around our neighbourhood.

They are lovely together though aren't they, the perfect loving couple!


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 4 months ago

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