In early October 2011 was the first time that a Eurasian Collared Dove had visited my bird feeder, I quickly grabbed my camera and took some pictures. Previously I have seen this bird and it was added to my “Life List” on December 29, 2007, where he was sitting on a power line just south of Oliver, British Columbia.
In checking on this bird, I found that was no inclusion in the 1987 “Birds of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia” and when you look at the “National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America” it shows the range of the US Gulf States of Florida, Louisiana, Texas, etc. Next I went to the Audubon Christmas Bird Count (for British Columbia) results to look at the historical data, which first began in 2003-04 when 25 individuals were reported and has grown to 682 in 2009-10.
Obviously we have a case of a new species now present outside of its traditional range. In fact the Eurasian Collared Dove isn’t native to North America but was introduced to this continent in the 1970s. Since then it has widely dispersed and we now enjoy them in British Columbia. The reason that we have been seeing them on the Christmas Bird Count is that they do not migrate.
As these birds expand their range in North America, it will be interesting to observe the impact of this introduced species on populations of native birds, in particular how will this population explosion will impact the native Mourning Dove, and to learn what ecological/geographical barriers finally limit their range expansion.
To learn more about British Columbia’s diverse birds see Great Horned Owl Eco Tours.