February 5th 2014

Collared Dove

Collared Dove

The Collared Dove has spread rapidly from it’s heart-lands in Turkey and the Middle East as far as the Arctic Circle! It first bred in England in 1955 in Cromer, North Norfolk, and there are now an estimated 990,000 nesting pairs here. It’s success is partly down to it’s long breeding season, starting in February. Some of the adults sitting on eggs are also feeding their previous brood when off sitting-duty! Smaller and slighter than wood pigeons, they are a subtle minky colour with a distinctive black and white collar round the back of their neck. This photo shows their red eye, circled by a small ring of pale skin. Most of us are familiar with their repeated ku-kooo-ku song (often echoing down your chimney). They also make a harsh screech, usually just before landing. The male mating display involves a steep climb and a spiralling glide with tail fanned. Conditions: A mild dry morning turning to heavy rain and squally wind. It’s been fascinating watching goldfinches and tits trying (and managing) to land on the wildly swaying feeders. Elsewhere, the rains in the South and West continue to cause more flooding, electricity cuts, fallen trees and landslips. Temperature: Max 7 – Min 3

A pair of Collared Doves. Males can have a slightly pink hue to their chests.

A pair of Collared Doves. Males can have a slightly pink hue to their chests.

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