Collared Dove (Streptopelia docaocto)

The Collared Dove is a frequent visitor to gardens, indeed most gardens now have one according to the BTO Garden Birdwatch Survey.

This is not the best picture in the world but it does illustrate the obvious feature of the bird, its black 'collar'. It would be hard to confuse this bird with anything else although I have heard people refer to it as the Ringed Dove which is actually at totally different non-British species.

Until the early 1950's the Collared Dove was a non-British species too, being more at home in the Balkans. During the 1930's it suddenly began to spread across Europe and arrived in Britain in 1954 (as far I can ascertain). Its arrival had the 'twitchers' of its day quite excited but now it is just a common bird seen near human habitation from farms to city centres right across the United Kingdom.

It has such a gentle face and seems quite a gentle bird in nature too preferring to fly off when confronted by even a smaller bird like a Starling.

It is by no means a song bird possessing a rather monotonous "I don't know! I don't know!' phrase which it repeats for varying lengths of time from its preferred perch, often a television areal.

Voracious seed feeders and almost consistently breeding throughout the spring, summer and in to the autumn. Surveys reveal that its increase in numbers may have actually stopped and there has been a slight indication of a downturn due, it is thought, to disease, possibly linked to their ground feeding under seed bags in gardens.

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