Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pale Eurasian Collared-Doves

Pale variant Eurasian Collared-Dove
Pale Eurasian Collared-Dove (right) with two normally-colored ones. Encinitas, California. January 1, 2014.
Among the swarms of Eurasian Collared-Doves colonizing the North American continent there is a small percentage of pale variants. Actually, these pale birds are also seen in populations in the Old World.

Most field guides do not mention these paler birds, misleading observers into reporting them as "Ringed Turtle-Doves" (domesticated form of what is now classified as African Collared-Doves).

The description of Eurasian Collared-Dove and the pale variant is as follows: "A large, pale gray-buff dove with a black collar, noticeably larger than the Mourning Dove. There is also a naturally occurring cream-colored variant, and this species is known to hybridize with the Ringed Turtle-Dove, so plumage variation will occur." -- National Geographic Complete Birds of North America (2006)

The National Geographic Complete Birds of North America is an expanded version of the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America--5th Edition. Now, the 6th Edition (2011) of the field guide is much better than the 5th Edition. Nevertheless, the Complete Birds is worthy to own because of the expanded species accounts, occasional large maps, ID tips, and family overviews.

Eurasian Collared-Dove
Eurasian Collared-Dove