Randy Mitchell Special Correspondent
This week I’m featuring the Eurasian Collared Dove. Although it is an invasive species, there is no evidence yet that it’s presence is hurting other bird species. That is good news. The Eurasian collard dove was introduced in the Bahamas in the 1970s. It spread to Florida and then increased quickly extended it’s range across most of North America.
The Eurasian collared dove is larger than its cousin, the mourning dove. It is — a very light brown, lighter in color than the mourning dove. It has a black crescent across the back of the neck, and black wingtips and a mostly white tail. The black on the wing tips and white on the tail are easier to see when the bird is in flight.
The Eurasian collared dove inhabits urban and suburban areas. It is no stranger to open farmland, either. It will readily come to feeders and likes millet, cracked corn and even milo. Most birds won’t eat milo. Milo is the big orange seed they use as filler in cheap bird seed. I read somewhere that collared doves will chase other birds from feeding areas, although I have never seen this behavior.
When I put out seed, I spread it out so birds won’t have to compete. I took the above photo recently as this dove was feeding on seed and cracked corn I put out. Eurasian collared doves are monogamous and nest in trees. They are often seen perched upon electric poles and wires, usually in pairs, especially during nesting season. They will join flocks in the winter.
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Eurasian collared dove can drink water through it’s beak like a straw, whereas most birds must scoop water using their beak.