Watching Nature -The Collared Dove

You may have heard the constant monotonous cooing of a dove calling from the roof tops on the estate recently.

Smaller than the rather plump wood pigeon it has a longer tail and pinkish brown plumage instead  of grey plus a distinctive black half-collar.

This is the bird that caused quite a stir when it arrived in this country in  Lincolnshire,1952. In 1955 the Collared dove bred for the first time with the nest having to be guarded to deter egg collectors.

Birdwatchers flocked to see this rare bird that had spread across all of Europe from its native Southern Asia and settled in Norfolk.

In just 20 years this rather pretty little dove had colonised every county in the U.K.

Making a rather flimsy nest of twigs and laying just 2 white eggs the female will incubate through the night with the male taking over during the day. In fact the nest is so flimsy that the squabs have been known to fall through them.

One reason for its rapid spread is the absence of competition and the ability to breed all year round if the weather in winter is mild.