Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Eurasian collared dove

Streptopelia decaocto

Photo by Jirí Bohdal (Naturephoto CZ)

Common name:
Eurasian collared dove (en); rola-turca (pt); tourterelle turque (fr); tórtola turca (es); Türkentaube (de)

Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

This species was originally found in temperate and sub-tropical Asia, from Turkey to southern China and south to India and Sri Lanka. Since the late 19th century it started to expand westwards and is now found throughout most of Europe, as far west as Portugal and Ireland and as far north as Norway and central Russia. At present, it is also found in northern Africa, from Egypt to Morocco.

These birds are 30-33 cm long and have a wingspan of 47-55 cm. They weigh 150-200 g.

The Eurasian collared dove is found in temperate and boreal forests, dry scrublands, degraded tropical forests and also in rural areas, arable land and within urban areas. They are typically found from sea level up to an altitude of 1.300 m.

They mainly feed on seeds, but also green vegetable parts such as buds and shoots, fruits and sometimes garbage and invertebrates.

Eurasian collared doves breed in March-October. The nest is a loose platform made of sticks and twigs, sometimes lined with grasses. It is placed in a scrub or tree, 2-20 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 whitish eggs which are incubated by both parents for 14-18 days. The chicks are fed crop milk and regurgitated seeds by both parents and fledge 15-19 days after hatching, but still receive food from the parents for another weeks. Each pair may raise 3-6 broods per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 20-100 million individuals. The population is currently suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation.

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