Mourning Doves bullied by newcomer Eurasian Collared Doves


There was a good article in the Denver Post this morning on how Eurasian Collared Doves have moved into every county in Colorado. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25219440/invasive-doves-colonize-colorado-and-overshadow-good-doves

Although they make a nasal honking sound, Collared Doves are beautiful birds. The problem is that they seem to be competing with native Mourning Doves. (By the way, in Natural Resources/Ecology we don’t refer to animals as “good” or “bad” as the Denver Post link does. We may or may not like what they do to an ecosystem, but that doesn’t make a species inherently positive or negative. It just is.)

Image

White-pink Eurasian Collared Dove.

Collared Doves can be white to tan to grey, but all have a dark ring around their necks.

 

 

 

 

 

Image

Mourning Doves on a feeder.

 

 

Mourning Doves are large grey-tan birds, with three dots on their wings.

Image

You can see the three dark spots on the Mourning Doves wings much better here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a picture of a Collared Dove on the left and two Mourning Doves on the right. In this picture, they are trying to ignore each other, but I have seen the Collared Doves chase the Mourning Doves around the yard.

The two species don’t have exactly the same niche. We’ve had Eurasian Collared Doves in the backyard all winter. In contrast, the Mourning Doves just returned on Saturday. It will be interesting to see what other differences in niche emerge.

The Denver Post article does make a nice point at the end that Cooper’s hawks are increasing in numbers and will certainly take advantage of these large meals on wings. https://coloradogeography.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/some-loose-some-win/

About coloradogeography

Amy Law is a second-generation Coloradoan with a passion for her native state. This translated into a Master’s degree in Natural Resources from Colorado State University, and continues as a lifelong fascination with how people and nature interact. From family vacations in the station wagon to travel for work, she's covered the state, and everywhere she goes, she finds new things to see and ideas to explore.
This entry was posted in Colorado Mileposts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s