Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Una Paloma

Even though it's a non-native invader of our fair land, I have to admit that the Eurasian collared-dove is a good-looking bird.

This species first came to our hemisphere via the Bahamas in the 1970s. Now it's found throughout the South and great flocks can be found around town grain elevators in the Great Plains. It is universally considered one of the most successful colonisers of all birds—easily spreading itself across Europe, Asia, and as far north as the Arctic Circle. And it is non-migratory, so you know it's one tough bird!

I found a small flock of EC doves in Lon C. Hill Park across the street from the Harlingen, Texas community auditorium where the Rio Grande Birding Festival was being held. When I first started taking birding trips to South Texas, the Eurasian collared-dove was not present. Now they are fairly easy to add to the day's bird list in any of the Rio Grande Valley's towns.

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