Thursday, 13 November 2014

Collared Doves - More Interesting Than You Think

Day 12

Hey guys Day 12 today but before I get to today's subject I want to thank you all for the support over the last few days because before I even went to school today I got around 80 views and yesterday I got 112 views in one day which is the largest amount I have ever had. I must say a special thank you to Team 4 Nature UK for my Rising Star Award, it was just amazing for me to see that tweet!

Anyway today's topic is about Collared Doves, and the picture below is from my garden this morning. Some serious birders may not think this is very interesting but as they say you can't judge a book by its cover. The Collared Dove's silouhette is very similar to that of a Sparrowhawk and some birds often make that mistake and flee to cover making them very annoying to some impatient birders. This is not true with our birds as you can see from the picture below.

Pair of Collared Doves (Streptopelia decaocto)

The Collared Dove has a very interesting Hungarian myth based around it in which there is a maid that works for a mistress and she works extremely long and hard for the mistress. The mistress does not pay the maid much, her pay consisting of 18 pieces a year - a very lowly sum for such tiresome work. One night the maid prayed to the gods to let the world know of such a sad story. Zeus, answering the maid's prayer, created a bird that has such a low, melancholy tone to its voice that people all over the world would know this story about one sad maid and one rich mistress. Another funny fact is that in Germany the Collared Dove has a more modern name which is the Television Dove or in German 'Die Fernsehtaube'. The reason for this is that it is often found sitting on television aerials. When I read that fact I wondered what they called it before the television was created! Here are some websites about the Collared Dove.

BTO - Collared Dove
BTO - Collared Dove article - very good and gave me lots of information
RSPB - Collared Dove

These birds have been very successful it seems and have green status. They are quite a regular visitor to our garden but then it seems there are around 280,000 pairs in the UK. Amazing when you think the first breeding pair were only seen in Norfolk in 1955. Equally amazing is that for a bird that generally only lives for 3 years that one at least has lived to nearly 17 years old.

Finally you may notice the little bird underneath my table on the feeder. This may be the subject of  a post soon it they will keep still long enough for me to photograph :-)

Hope you enjoyed this.


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