Bird #421 — Eurasian Collared-Dove

streptopelia (from strepto, collar, and peleia, dove, referring to the markings on the neck) decaocto (from deca, ten, and octo, eight, for 18, the number of syllables in its usual call)

Saturday, December 24, 2005 — 9:33 a.m.

Conway, Arkansas — Sturgis Road

Shortly after 9:00, I hopped in my car and took off in search of adventure. I saw three doves perched on roadside wires in front of an office building. My first thought was Mourning Doves, but something didn’t seem right.

I made a quick U-turn and parked in a small lot across the street. The birds were Eurasian Collared-Doves, a species that has recently invaded the United States and is rapidly colonizing northward. They are seen occasionally in Illinois, but I’ve never made the effort to see them. I figured I’d find one eventually. And I did. You can see them on the wires in the top photo.

Anyway, I watched for about five minutes as the doves looked around, preened a bit and walked or flew short distances from one spot to another.

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