Turtledoves are the symbol of love. And rightly so, because when you see a couple of lovebirds sitting next to each other on a tree branch is ?? love ?? the first thing that comes to mind. It is almost endearing to see the two birds in love giving each other kisses on the heads and neck. The Collared Dove is a well-known and common species of the turtle doves. A bird that you often hear and see around your house, but of which you probably know little about.
- Latin: Streptopelia Decaocto
- English: Eurasian Collared Dove
- German: Türkentaube
- French: Tourterelle turque
- Spanish: Tórtola turca
- Italian: Tortora dal collare orientale
- Empire: Animalia (animals)
- Strain: Chordata (chordal animals)
- Class: Aves (birds)
- Order: Columbiformes (pigeons)
- Family: Columbidae (pigeons and turtledoves)
- Genus: Streptopelia
The number of breeding pairs in the Netherlands is 50,000 to 100,000. Since the 1980s a drastic decline in Collared Doves has been recorded (halving), but the increase and decrease is now constant again.
The Collared Dove is small, slender and has a long tail, which gives it a certain elegance. It is a lot smaller in size than the Common Wood Pigeon and is about 31 to 34 centimeters long. The wingspan of the wings is 63-70 cm and weight 170-240 grams. The feather blanket is gray and brownish in color, the chest is pinkish and buff. The underside of the tail is black with a wide white end band. The Collared Dove has a narrow white with a black stripe in the neck. He is not right from birth, so in this way an adult can be distinguished from a young. The beak is narrow and pointed, the eyes are reddish brown in color. In this bird species, the difference between the cock, the male, and the hen, the female, is difficult to see. The cock has a slightly coarser build, stands a bit higher on the legs and has more shine on its feathers. The hen is somewhat smaller in stature, has a duller color and a wider pelvis.
History and geography
The Collared Turtledove has been found in the Netherlands since the half of the 20th century. Its original habitat covers Southeast Europe (the Balkans) up to Japan. Nowadays the Collared Dove occurs almost all over Europe. It even breeds north of the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia. The collared lovebird also lives in America; it was first spotted in the Bahamas in the 1970’s and then spread to Florida. Its largest stronghold is on the Gulf Coast of the United States, but it is also located in California, British Columbia and the Great Lakes on the border between the United States and Canada. This bird is common around people and likes to live in cities and towns, where it can find a lot of food. Flour factories and places where chickens are kept are particularly popular with him.
The Collared Dove mainly eats grains and seeds, which are its main foods. In addition, it occasionally eats leaves, fruits and beetles. Sometimes it also consumes caterpillars, snails and other small animals. In winter the Collared Dove likes to visit feeding tables when grain, seeds and bread are available. It often eats on the ground and is able to suck up water with its beak.
Nest and boy
The nest that the Collared Dove builds is very simple. It consists of twigs and is made by the female in a tree or on a building, while the male collects the material. It almost never happens that a nest is built more than 1 kilometer from the residence. The white, oval eggs are smooth and shiny and about 31 mm in size. The female lays two eggs at a time. The brood fails regularly. It often happens that the nest with eggs and chicks and all is blown away because the nest is not strong enough. This is why Collared Doves often re-nest and can be found brooding every month. In this way, the parents manage to get a number of youngsters to fly quickly once a year. An egg hatches between 14-18 days and the young can fledge after 15-19 days. Both parents take care of the hatching of the eggs and the feeding of the young. To protect their young, the parents chase jays, magpies and even humans away from their nests. Young turtledoves are given pigeon milk for food. This is rich in proteins and fats and is produced in the crop. Both parents produce this for the first 4-5 days. As a result, the parents are not burdened with finding insects for their offspring and the incubation period can take a longer time. After a few days, the young will switch to solid food, which the parents will first soak in their crop. Youngsters from January or February can already start brooding at the end of the same year.
It often happens that birds mistake the Collared Dove for an enemy and sound the alarm; in flight, the silhouette of this pigeon can resemble that of the sparrowhawk, because the tail is very large in relation to the body. The Collared Dove has an active flight with wide wings, keeping the tail tucked in during normal flight. When a male wants to make an impression, the tail is spread and looks a bit like a fan. Cocks often spread the tail to please the hens. They first fly loudly with their wings steeply in the air, then they make a long gliding flight and land on a roof or in a tree. This is called the courtship flight. On the ground, they have a second tactic: cocks jump about three feet into the air and flap their wings, calling out to the female. A Collared Dove can reach a flight speed of 61 km / h.
The Collared Dove makes a monotonous sound that sounds like ?? cow-cow, cow ?? and is repeated several times. In terms of hearing it is very similar to the Greek word ?? decaocto ??, which means eighteen, and this is where the bird owes its Latin name. Often people confuse the sound of the Collared Dove with that of the Cuckoo. When a Collared Dove lands somewhere, it often makes a loud, grating noise that lasts only a few seconds. This sounds like a whur-whur.
A big enemy of the collared dove is the sparrowhawk, a small, fast bird of prey. Cats are also a threat to him. Young have the chance to be snatched from the nest by an owl or other birds of prey.
Collared Doves can easily be kept in captivity. Special turtledove food is sold, but a parakeet mixture is also sufficient. It is important that the food provided is varied and that the bird can provide for all its needs. Extra protein pellets, green food, ant eggs and mealworms are an example of this. In addition, the Collared Dove must have access to fresh drinking water, minerals, grit and a pick stone. The pigeons can use a semi-open nest box to build in a nest and even hatch the eggs of other species.