There’s a new species of dove arriving in Eastern Iowa. Well, the species isn’t new, but its presence here is. It’s the Eurasian Collared Dove and they’re spreading quickly across the United States.
You can see he looks a bit like a cross between a pigeon and a mourning dove. Wikipedia describes him like this:
It is a medium sized dove, distinctly smaller than the Wood Pigeon, similar in length to a Rock Pigeon but slimmer and longer-tailed, and slightly larger than the related Turtle Dove, 30–33 cm long from tip of beak to tip of tail, with a wingspan of 47–55 cm, and a weight of 125–240 g. It is grey-buff to pinkish-grey overall, a little darker above than below, with a blue-grey underwing patch. The tail feathers are grey-buff above, and dark grey tipped white below; the outer tail feathers also tipped whitish above. It has a black half-collar edged with white on its nape from which it gets its name. The short legs are red and the bill is black. The iris is red, but from a distance the eyes appear to be black, as the pupil is relatively large and only a narrow rim of reddish-brown iris can be seen around the black pupil. The eye is surrounded by a small area of bare skin, which is either white or yellow. The two sexes are virtually indistinguishable; juveniles differ in having a poorly developed collar, and a brown iris.
The dove seems to prefer urban areas and often comes to feeders – a bonus for spotting this new guy. The Iowa DNR told us that since it is a dove, it is protected as Iowa law prohibits the shooting of any dove species. We haven’t seen one yet, but if you do… let us know!