Monday, August 15, 2011

Eurasian Collared-Dove at Cape May Point

While I was down at the shore last week, I managed to see a Eurasian Collared-Dove that has been hanging around in Cape May Point for the last several weeks. Apparently there is also a second bird, which I did not see. This was a life bird for me, and it brought my life list up to 350 species. It was larger than I expected, built more like a Rock Pigeon than a Mourning Dove.

Eurasian Collared-Doves originated in southern Asia and gradually spread west and north into Europe. In the 1970s, some were released on Bermuda, and their population quickly grew and spread into North America from there. Their current range covers the Deep South, with pockets of breeding birds in the southern Great Plains and southern California. It would not surprise me to see their population spread further north, especially as the climate warms and becomes more hospitable to them. Their rapid spread has led to concerns about their invasive potential, though what effect they may have on native species like the Mourning Dove remains unknown.