Tuesday, August 14, 2012
This is only the second time I have seen a Turtle Dove. They were domesticated in Los Angeles from an African dove species. The ones we see are escaped or released pets or their descendants.
David Kuster, emailed me a photo he took of a Ringed Turtle Dove in his yard just a hour after I took my photo! David's dove has a darker neck ring. Maybe it's more mature than mine? Anyway, I thought that was remarkable because David had never before emailed me a photo of anything.
Update: Just got this from another fabulous client, Jonathan Horst.
Hope you're getting rain tonight; sprinkling here.
I think the bird you saw is a Eurasian Collared Dove - their range is spreading pretty quickly and they're getting more common each year in Tucson (the first I saw was four years ago; now they're all over my back yard). Might be a Ringed Turtle Dove, but that'd be a super-rarity. And apparently they're generally difficult to tell apart (song is easiest) though this page is helpful : http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/EucdovRitdovID.htm
I could be wrong though, maybe it's a Turtle Dove...if so, rare bird indeed.
Jonathan's an ecologist, so he knows what he's talking about.
I sent photos to the Rare Bird Alert at the Tucson Audubon Society. I received this very informative email from Andrew Core:
Thanks for the pictures. Ringed Turtle-Doves are occasionally released into the wild and have on a few occasions bred in Arizona, but they don't show any signs of becoming established; their numbers are continually replenished by more releases.
However, the two pictures show what I think is the closely related Eurasian Collared-Dove. Only a view of the underside of the tail would be conclusive, but Eurasian Collared-Doves are generally darker and a little larger than Ringed. Eurasian Collared-Doves have a very interesting history in the United States. You can read more about them here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eurasian_Collared-Dove/id
Okay, so not as rare as I thought, but Turtle Doves just the same.