Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Tuesday 24th January 2017 - Ont he subject of Breeding

Thought for the day:"Indecisive people are under the whether ."

On the subject of collared doves...

When a pair of doves started mating on my mother's balcony - we were interested, and watched in fascination - mainly because at first they decided that the unstable top of the open window would be a good place for a nest - not a good idea really. Then in mid winter - they seemed to be at it again...  What a silly time to start raising a family !

And the nest did not really look as though it had any expertise. A couple of twigs laid out - with no style at all. But they seemed to manage and in due time two eggs appeared and a dove was incubating night and day - or so it seemed ..

Then the babies grew - but did not seem to want to disperse much...   and they got to be a bit of a size.

But in due time they flew - but came back on a regular basis.

And the parents started again - and this time a bit of research shows that it is the male that does most of the nest making and incubates during the day....  And today the young birds were sitting watching and one seems to have a few twigs in his mouth as thought he wants to help...

Well - we can't see how many eggs are there - but we are watching for another brood...

So - the wiki says...

Collared doves typically breed close to human habitation wherever food resources are abundant and there are trees for nesting; almost all nests are within half a mile of inhabited buildings. The female lays two white eggs in a stick nest, which she incubates during the night and which the male incubates during the day. Incubation lasts between 14 and 18 days, with the young fledging after 15 to 19 days.

Breeding occurs throughout the year when abundant food is available, though only rarely in winter in areas with cold winters such as northeastern Europe. Three to four broods per year is common, although up to six broods in a year has been recorded. Eurasian Collared Doves are a monogamous species, and share parental duties when caring for young.

The male's mating display is a ritual flight, which, as with many other pigeons, consists of a rapid, near-vertical climb to height followed by a long glide downward in a circle, with the wings held below the body in an inverted "V" shape. At all other times, flight is typically direct using fast and clipped wing beats and without use of gliding.

The collared dove is not wary and often feeds very close to human habitation, including visiting bird tables; the largest populations are typically found around farms where spilt grain is frequent around grain stores or where livestock are fed. It is a gregarious species and sizeable winter flocks will form where there are food supplies such as grain (its main food) as well as seeds, shoots and insects. Flocks most commonly number between ten and fifty, but flocks of up to ten thousand have been recorded.

The song is a coo-COO-coo. The collared dove also makes a harsh loud screeching call lasting about two seconds, particularly in flight just before landing. A rough way to describe the screeching sound is a hah-hah.

Collared doves cooing in early spring are sometimes mistakenly reported as the calls of early-arriving cuckoos and, as such, a mistaken sign of spring's return.

The collared dove is not migratory, but is strongly dispersive.

Over the last century, it has been one of the great colonisers of the bird world. Its original range at the end of the 19th century was warm temperate and subtropical Asia from Turkey east to southern China and south through India to Sri Lanka.

In 1838 it was reported in Bulgaria, but not until the 20th century did it expand across Europe, appearing in parts of the Balkans between 1900–1920, and then spreading rapidly northwest, reaching Germany in 1945, Great Britain by 1953 (breeding for the first time in 1956), Ireland in 1959, and the Faroe Islands in the early 1970s.

Subsequent spread was 'sideways' from this fast northwest spread, reaching northeast to north of the Arctic Circle in Norway and east to the Ural Mountains in Russia, and southwest to the Canary Islands and northern Africa from Morocco to Egypt, by the end of the 20th century. In the east of its range, it has also spread northeast to most of central and northern China, and locally (probably introduced) in Japan. It has also reached Iceland as a vagrant (41 records up to 2006), but has not colonised successfully there.

So - it seems that these birds have only been in the country for 60 years - but seem to be doing well...

We will watch with interest..
I lift my glass to winter birds!!

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