Eurasian Collared-Dove is a medium-sized, pale grayish-brown dove with a black
collar on the back of the neck. It was
originally native to the Indian subcontinent with a slight extension over to Turkey. During the sixteenth century, the
Collared-Dove spread through Asia Minor and the
Balkans. Recently, it has undergone an
explosive range expansion throughout Europe and most of North
Over a 44-year
period during the past century, the Collared-Dove expanded its range westward
by 1,800 miles, covering
most of Europe at an average rate of 41 miles per year. They now occur as far north as Iceland
and above the Arctic Circle in Norway. Colonization occurred in jumps of several
hundred miles at a time with subsequent back filling. It is currently still expanding its range
into Russia and
the Iberian Peninsula.
During the early 1970s, an order was placed to Great
Britain from the Bahamas
for some Ringed Turtle-Doves, a similar looking domesticated relative of the
Collared-Dove. Unable to fill this
order, the supplier sent Eurasian Collared-Doves instead. In 1974,
as the result of an aviary break-in, about 50
of these birds were released into the wild. Over the next ten years, their population
reached around 10,000 birds,
and they started spreading to other islands.
By the mid-1980s,
they reached Miami, Florida,
on the North American mainland. From
there, their colonization of North America has been very
rapid. Now, almost 20 years later, they currently
have an almost continuous population extending from Florida
north to Indiana and west through
the Great Plains.
They are still spreading north and west, and there are now records of
sightings as far away as Minnesota,
Washington, and Nevada. There is a separate introduced population in
coastal southern California that
is starting to spread also.
Fortunately, the Eurasian Collared-Dove does
not seem to be competing with the native North American doves but seems to be
occupying an empty ecological niche in our environment created by man. They prefer suburban areas of towns and
cities where they frequent bird feeders and ornamental plantings found in
people’s yards. They feed on
agricultural grains, leaves, fruits, and seeds.
They also occur in the country around farms with grain bins.
you ever watched a hawk in pursuit of a timid dove? Instinct has taught the dove that in order
for the hawk to seize his prey, he must gain a loftier flight than his
victim. So she rises higher and still
higher in the blue dome of heaven, ever pursued by the hawk, which is seeking
to obtain the advantage. But in vain. The dove
is safe as long as she allows nothing to stop her in her flight, or draw her
earthward; but let her once falter, and take a lower
flight, and her watchful enemy will swoop down upon his victim. . . .
“We have before us a
warfare,—a lifelong conflict with Satan and his seductive
temptations. The enemy will use every
argument, every deception, to entangle the soul; and in order to win the crown
of life, we must put forth earnest, persevering effort. We must not lay off the armor or leave the
battlefield until we have gained the victory, and can triumph in our
Redeemer. As long as we continue to keep
our eyes fixed upon the Author and Finisher of our faith, we shall be
safe. But our affections must be placed
upon things above, not on things of the earth.
By faith we must rise higher and still higher in the attainment of the
graces of Christ. By daily contemplating
His matchless charms, we must grow more and more into His glorious image. While we thus live in communion with Heaven,
Satan will lay his nets for us in vain.”
Instructor, May 12, 1898.
David Arbour writes from his
home in DeQueen, Arkansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at: