Open Field Birds, Pacific Northwest
Introduced to the Bahamas in about 1974, this species made it on its own to Florida about 1980 and spread across the North American continent. The first Oregon record was in 1998 and first Washington state record was in 2000. They are now common on the extreme south coast of the Pacific Northwest. We have had a pair of return to our feeders for the last 4 years. They arrive in late April and stay until the fall, they come to our feeders almost daily.
Eurasian collared doves are larger and paler than mourning doves. They are quite similar to the Ringed turtle doves, escapees of which may be found in the wild, occasionally. The underside of the tail of the Eurasian collared dove is dark slate and the tail is square with pale corners. This is in contrast to the long pointed tail with white tail sides of a mourning dove. There is a black crescent on the back of the neck of the Eurasian collared dove.
Like mourning doves, the Eurasian collared dove likes agricultural areas and can be found in residential and urban area feeders. Often they seem to choose nest sites in dense conifers in yards in small communities on the edge of agricultural areas.
They frequently perch on telephone wires, looking like mourning doves bulked up on steroids. They produce a loud, unique coo coo coo that sounds just like an owl hooting. I have grown to really like these sweet birds, they are so beautiful. Their call is so haunting and melodious.
Male displays by flying almost straight up, then they will glide down in spiral motion with his wing and tail feathers fully spread out, calling in a deep harsh voice as they glide back down. They will also call softly to them while bowing his head repeatedly. After pairing up, the male will show the female several potential nest sites with her choosing the one. They will build the nest in a tree about 3 to 15 meters up out of sticks and twigs, the male gathers the nesting material while the female constructs the nest.