[Tweeters] Eurasian Collared Doves

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at protonmail.com
Sat Jan 29 13:57:05 PST 2022

Dear Tweeters,

It has been interesting reading the thread about Eurasian Collared Doves the last few days. Here is my two-cents' worth, regarding only observations of this species in Skagit County.

We are now about 30 days into the new year of 2022. So far, I have seen Eurasian Collared Doves on 42 occasions during that stretch, at 12 different sites in Skagit. The sites include my yard near Lyman, a yard in the town of Lyman itself, two sites on :Fir Island, one on Samish Island, two sites on the Samish Flats, plus several other scattered sites, all of which are in the western part of Skagit County. Numbers of individuals have apparently decreased a bit since the weather events of November and December, when we had a big flood, followed by a long cold snap. Many of my 41 observations were of just one or two birds. Even so, during this month of January, I have observed flocks that contained the following numbers of birds: 38, 20, 13, 11, 7, 6, and 6. The big flock of 38 individuals was at the grain silo in Conway.

Digging deeper, I checked my records for the first 29 days of each of the last few years. This is the third January of my retirement, so my effort has been somewhat greater these last three years. The numbers of observations over these three years have remained consistent.

2022, 41 observations;

2021, 36;

2020, 37;

2019, 30;

2018, 17;

2017, 34;

2016, 15;

2015, 19;

2014, 7;

2013, 8;

2012, 9;

2011, 3;

2010, 2;

2009, 1;

2008, 3.

In Skagit County, Eurasian Collared Doves began attracting notice in September of 2017, starting with a flock that showed up on the Calhoun Road, west of Mount Vernon. A birder in that neighborhood later told me that the little flock of doves there had been present for months, perhaps as much as a year, before word had gotten got out. I saw my first ones on 9-15-07, and it seems to me that the species has been increasing ever since, albeit with some "corrections," as followers of the stock market like to say.

As best I can recall, the only time I have seen a Eurasian Collared Dove being eaten by a predator in Skagit was on April 11, 2015; a Merlin was eating a Eurasian Collared Dove on the front lawn of a house by the river in the town of Lyman.

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch

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