Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mystery Birds

Late this afternoon, two unusual birds landed on our fence. A quick look at the birding book identified them as ringed turtledoves.

I've seen ones like this at the ranch where I board Dink; a pair of the cage birds were given to the owners, and they let them have their run of the barns. They've had quite a few children over the years, those doves.

Very unlikely that this pair are related to the ranch population, though. Out at the ranch, the doves aren't interested in people. These two birds were quite interested in us as we watched them through our broad bedroom window.

The ranch birds, who forage for their food, are also a lot slimmer than these two fat fowl.

According to Wikipedia, they were native to Africa; and according to another page, the darker bird on the left could even be a "Eurasian Collared Dove," which are common in the United States.

Can it be that Eurasian Collared Doves are being sold as Ringed Turtledoves, with the buyers none the wiser? Can in fact the two species interbreed?

There's a feed store up in Manteca that occasionally sells them. Now I must go back there and have a closer look, and check the price.

I must admit I never saw a such a white-colored one before.

And if these visitors were escapees, I hope they find their way home before the red-tailed hawks make their morning patrol.

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