Sunday, September 6, 2009

Texas Eurasian or Collared Dove

I have received several emails from readers asking about a unique dove and whether or not it is legal to add to their bag or if they need to count it in the bag limit. The dove is the Collared Dove or Eurasian Dove. It is rapidly spreading though out Texas and is a great gunning target as well as tasty on the grill. You do not have to count them in your bag limit as they are an exotic. Have a great time shooting and eating this bonus species. Wild Ed

Here is what Texas Parks and Wildlife have to say on the Eurasian Dove
Exotic Species: The Great Eurasian Collared Dove InvasionAs noted by TPW Wildlife Biologist Jim Lionberger, area residents and birdwatchers have recently observed a new bird in their neighborhood. This new bird is a dove, considerably larger than a mourning dove, slightly larger than a white-winged dove. It is pale gray all over with a black collar around the back and sides of the neck, dark primaries, a collar with a white upper border, and a tail that is long and square. The bird is the Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) and its range appears to be spreading rapidly. This exotic species is primarily native to the Indian subcontinent, but began expanding their range into Europe in the early 1900's.
The first Eurasian Collared Doves in the Americas were brought to Nassau in the Bahamas from the Netherlands in the early 1970's a replacement for Ringed Turtle Doves (S. risoria). As always happens some escaped captivity in 1974 and quickly spread throughout most of the Islands. From there, doves immigrated from Florida in the late 1970's or early 1980's. The ensuing population explosion and expansion westward brought Eurasian Collared Doves Texas in the mid-1990's. At first, the expansion went unnoticed, due to the Collared Dove's similarity to the Ringed Turtle Dove. Today, however, the Eurasian Collared Dove occurs in several states within the U.S. as far North as Wisconsin and extends into Canada. This dove can even be found above the Arctic Circle.
In Texas, the Eurasian Collared dove has been documented in 134 of the 254 Counties in the State, including Dallam, Deaf Smith, Hansford, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Sherman, and Swisher counties. Currently, regulations concerning the Eurasian Collared dove are the same as for feral pigeons or Rock Doves. A hunting license is required, but there is no closed season or bag limit; however, local restrictions concerning discharge of a firearm do apply.

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birdbuddies said...

We also have numerous Eurasian doves in Marten, Midland, Ector, and surrounding counties. They enjoy the semi desert region and have adapted well to hot, warm, os cold weather. Unlike, the white wings, they usually stay in pairs all year around and seem to be multiplying.

Joyce said...

We've had many Eurasian Collared Doves here in 29 Palms, in the high desert. They're beautiful birds.

Patsey said...

I live in the small town of
Stratford, Texas located in Sherman county. I recently moved here from a big city in North Carolina where I only saw Bob Whites and Whiporwills. At first I thought I had pigeons in my back yard but googled these birds and found they are Eurasian Doves. Yes we do have a grain elevator in our town with lots of farm land. Perfect for these doves. I find them very friendly and not afraid of dogs.