Thursday, November 6, 2008
Skywatch Friday: Eurasian Collared-Dove
Click to enlarge for the best view
What's the best thing to do the morning after Halloween? Go for a bird walk of course! I set out early on November 1, 2008 to see what I could see after spending the night in Coolidge to witness my grandson, Xavier's first Halloween. G had told me he had seen a "little owl" in the barren field behind the school. I decided I would try to find the owl. I was unsuccessful that morning but I did find this Eurasian Collared-Dove perched atop a weather vane. Did it, perhaps know that the winds of change were in the air?
Eurasian Collared-Doves are an old world species that became established in Florida in the 1980's according to Kaufman's Field Guide to Birds of North America. They have expanded their range north and west since then. Not to be confused with Mourning Doves, this bird lacks the dark spots on the wings but it sports a dark, thin crescent on the back of the neck. Unlike the pointed tail of the Mourning Dove, this bird's tail is square with more extensive white and its wings do not make that characteristic whistling sound when it takes of. The voice is different also. It is found most often in suburbs and cities and is less likely to be found in wild areas. I saw my first one in Fort Myers, Florida on January 18, 2003.
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Birds seen in Coolidge 11-1-08: 1. kestrel (1), 2. mourning dove (43), 3. Eurasian collared-dove (7), 4. raven species (4), 5. Anna's hummingbird (1), 6. Rock pigeon (3), 7. killdeer (3), 8. northern flicker (1), 9. Say's phoebe (1), 10. verdin (1), 11. house finch (6), 12. house sparrow (50), 13. great-tailed grackle (30).