Eurasian Collared-Dove Status
From the 1997 TBRC annual meeting minutes taken 1 November 1997:
Status of Eurasian Collared-Dove in Texas
Lasley provided background of the expansion of Eurasian Collared-Doves from the Bahamas across the Southeastern United States. The species is now considered common in many areas of Louisiana, including Cameron Parish. The species has been reported as nesting in several locations within the state. Discussion centered on the origin of individual records and the need for documentation of nesting records. The committee decided that the Secretary should continue to solicit and accept documentation on Eurasian Collared-Doves and hold all of those records for the 1998 TBRC annual meeting where the status of the species will be reviewed again.
Matthew Pontiff email@example.com
Amazingly, he casually told me that there WAS one frequenting a nursery on the Easthampton/Amagansett, LI, line, not 15 miles from where our boat was soon to dock. Flabbergasted, I asked when it had been found, somewhat puzzled that I had not heard about it. He told me that it had been present maybe as long as a year.
It had been found by someone else, reported to him, and then he went to see it a few times. He allowed that he was not sure if it was really a Collared Dove or just a Ringed Turtle Dove, and that when he had mentioned it, he was advised to pay no attenion to it, that it was surely an escape.
Stunned, several of us from the pelagic trip made an unsuccessful evening try for the bird. However, a few weeks later, it was confirmed vocally and visually as indeed a Eurasian Collared and not a Ringed Turtle. Moreover, I have heard no reasons whatsoever advanced for why this particular bird might be an escape.
As such, it is new to New York State, and is the northernmost eastern NA record beyond one last year (I believe) in Pennsylvania, [There were specific reasons for believing one seen not long ago in Nova Scotia might have been an escape (Maybank, pers. comm.).] There have been one or more seen (resident?) on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and perhaps one or more small but established populations further south in NC or SC, only about 500 or so straight-line miles from eastern LI.
Earlier this year several were found in downtown Atlanta; within the last month, one was reported in northern Montana, not far from the Canadian border; last week I heard that LI's one was actually TWO (a pair ??); and today Paul Lehman emailed me with the exciting news that yesterday he had found NJ's first at Cape May. So Eurasian Collared Dove is clearly in the process of rapidly colonizing NA the same way it did Europe --- at least for those who are willing to look.
One has only to read Bill Smith's seminal article in AMERICAN BIRDS 41: 1370-79 (1987) to know that ten years ago it was already well on the way to expanding from its initial south Florida (apparently unassisted) colonization entry-point from the Bahamas. That same elegant article elucidates ID, on both plumage and voice, so there has been no excuse for 10 years for any active NA birder not knowing what's going on.
Thus it is disppointing in the extreme to find that knowledge of the LI bird's existence has taken at least a year to become public (details of the exact time of its discovery are still fuzzy).
Have we learned nothing whatsover about the loss of details of vagrancy patterns, range expansions, and continental colonizations, when first records of birds like Cattle Egret, Tufted Duck, Garganey, Burrowing Owl (both Florida and western forms), Red-winged Thrush, Fieldfare, House Finch, Painted Bunting, and Brambling (to name but a few of the more glaring psuedoescapes in eastern NA), are systematically ignored ?
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 01:32:02 -0500
I'm writing to applaud what Paul Buckley had to say about birders paying attention to Eurasian Collared-Doves and documenting the appearance of the species in new areas. This is a great opportunity to learn about the expansion of an invasionary species, but we won't learn if birders don't take notes and report what's going on.
At the moment I'm away from home and don't have access to full notes on where the Collared-Doves are now, so this summary is based on memory; but there have been a couple of messages this evening speculating about how far the doves have spread, and I wanted to clarify this a little. The leading edge of the invasion, as expected, is made up of a lot of little isolated populations, not a solid front. Those isolated populations have spread north along the coast at least to North Carolina, west along the Gulf to (apparently) the upper Texas coast, inland as far as Tennessee; the species now seems to be established in eastern Oklahoma, in several towns in the Texas panhandle, at Roswell, New Mexico, and at Rocky Ford, Colorado. There have been records in Kansas and Illinois. A few of the outlying records MAY refer to escapes from captivity, but the vast majority are probably strays from the rapidly expanding wild population, despite waffling on the part of some local records committees. The Montana record seems right in line with where I would expect the species to be showing up about now.
So please, as Paul Buckley has suggested, identify those doves with care and report these records!
Kenn Kaufman Tucson, AZ firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a small colony of E. Collared-Doves in Rocky Ford in S.E. Colorado -- present for about 2 years. Up to 13 birds occur there and they have bred. There is no local evidence of escape and the Colorado Records Committee will vote on this occurrence this year. It will likely be accepted.
There have been at least 3 single observer reports in the last 5 years in Colorado (far S.E., S.C. and in the northern front range). With the plethora of sightings in the last 1 1/2 years (Oklahoma, Kansas, Montana, Illinois, New York, etc.) it seems clear that we are seeing an explosive expansion of this species.
Eurasian Collared-Dove in Montana is a subject I cannot really add any information to, but thought some of you might be interested that the species is showing up at many Texas locations from the coast to the Panhandle. Though not yet accepted on the Texas list (officially) in the past two years this species is apparently moving into the state in fair numbers. In nearby Cameron Parish, Louisiana they are common and reportedly seen in good numbers easily. In Texas there is a population in Galveston and near Smith Point (near Galveston). They have been photographed and/or tape recorded up the east side of the state to Texarkana and I am aware of at least one Oklahoma record. They are in central Texas as well and I have seen and heard them in Johnson City and they are also being reported here in Austin. A small colony is now resident in the Panhandle town of Canyon (just south of Amarillo) and Chuck Sexton and I found and photographed a calling bird in Farwell, Parmer Co.,Texas (within one mile of New Mexico) this past February. They are being reported at many coastal locations as well. Montana...well, they are showing up in the Panhandle of Texas...a long way from Florida. In fact, the Panhandle of Texas is closer to Montana than Florida is. An interesting species that seems like it is really spreading. Will this be the next Cattle Egret?
This past July, Matt & Pia DeVries and I observed (and Matt photographed) a probable Eurasian Collared Dove in Orem, Utah. Matt got some photos which still need to be looked at to confirm the i.d., but if they're good, they would establish a first Utah record and contribute another dot to the map of Collared Dove expansion.
Rob Fergus Austin, TX email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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Greg Lasley Secretary, Texas Bird Records Committee (Visit the
TBRC at http://members.tripod.com/~tbrc/) Editor, Texas Region, Audubon Field
Notes 305 Loganberry Ct., Austin, TX 78745-6527 Telephone: (512) 441-9686
From October 1996 email correspondence:
As many of you are aware, Eurasian Collared-Doves have been spreading westward from Florida for a number of years. This is an introduced species in areas of the Caribbean that has apparently spread on its own to Florida and is now working its way up the Atlantic coast (it has reached Maine) and westward across Louisiana. The species is now common in parts of Louisiana and is occurring in Oklahoma. As of October 1996, we have had only four reports of the species formally submitted to the TBRC, but we are hearing of many more records. The species is not, as yet, accepted on the Texas list.
I am asking for help in determining locations where this species has been found in Texas. As of October 1996, I am aware of one in Texarkana in the summer of 1995 and spring 1995 (VHS tape and vocal recordings), one in High Island in April of 1995 (photo), one in Galveston in April 1996 (flying in off the Gulf; photo), and three in Canyon, Texas in fall 1996 (again, VHS and tape recordings). Those are the records the TBRC has received. We are hearing reports third hand of the the species being numerous in parts of the Upper Coast this past summer. I am also getting reports from Brian Gibbons that the species is now very common in Cameron Parish, LA., only 10 miles east of Port Arthur, TX.
This is a real opportunity for us to track a natural "invasion" movement of a species into Texas, but we need help in doing so. Again, it is an introduced bird in the western hemisphere, but it is expanding its range explosively on its own. The TBRC would like your help in trying to get a handle on this species' movements into our state. I would like to discuss the possibility of the TBRC eventually adding this species to the Texas list as an Introduced bird. Over the next year, please send me any info you have on this subject. Thanks!