Monday, March 16, 2015

Collared Dove

The sharper-eyed of you may have realised that I skipped a post on 13th, so to make up here are two closely related species for the 16th.
If you had been a keen birder in the UK fifty years ago you may have travelled hundreds of miles to see these as they didn't breed here. Then in 1956 the first pair bred and since then they have spread as far as the Shetland Isles. In fact their spread through Europe is the fastest of any species on record! They are in the top ten commonest garden birds. The latin name is Streptopelia decaocto.
They have a distinctive call which can easily be told apart from the woodpigeon. It is tri-syllabic and often rendered as "u - ni - ted". The woodpigeon has a five-syllable call.

They are also the only pigeon/dove in the UK to have a flight call (which I think sounds like it comes from a member of the crow family).  
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