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Collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto

10 January 2012

What is an ordinary bird? A collared dove… Streptopelia decaocto, which a generation or two ago was unknown in the British Isles, or most of Europe, yet has spread to become very common (particularly in areas near human habitation in Britain, which is just about everywhere). The one here was at Ely station, standing on the loudspeaker cooing away merrily. At first I thought the station announcer had gone cuckoo, till I spotted it. It was possibly finding a suitable nest platform above the station platform! They are like most doves and pigeons, rubbish at nest building. A pair used to try to build a nest in a tree next to my parents’ house, but the nest was so weak that the eggs fell out and broke. Perhaps they get better as they get older as young animals and birds are often poor at raising offspring on the first attempt.

Coo-ee... Can you hear me?

Sadly, they are yet another invasive species in North America, spreading from an original – stupid – introduction in the Bahamas in the 1970s, to Florida.

See more on the Wikipedia pages:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collared_dove

And as an invasive species in North America:

Invasive birds in a novel landscape: habitat associations and effects on established species

From → Natural history

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