October 2011 home page

New Bird in Town
Ed Mirsky | Hoska Drive


Who ARE you? Photo Tom Grey

There are new birds in town. I don’t know when they got here or where they came from, but they’re here. And I think they’re here to stay. I see them when I’m out walking. They’re really not hard to spot. They look different from the birds we’re used to seeing around town. They look different and they sound different, too. They’re bigger and lighter in color. And they have a black collar band, and a squared off tail with lots of white on the underside. And they sound different. They say, “who ARE you?” (3 beats) in a muffled whistle. The usual bird, the “Little Ladies” as my friend calls them say, “i LOVE you you you” (4 or 5 beats) in a lower more pleasant whistle. They’re love birds, after all. Though most of us know them as Mourning Doves. In case you’re interested, they have a long pointy tail with some white on the outer edge. They do not have a black collar.

The new bird in town is the Eurasian Collared-Dove. Originally from southern Asia, they “marched” through North Africa and all of Europe within half a century. One thought is that they were introduced into the Bahamas, and then immigrated into Florida—other birds are known to have done that. But it’s not all that clear.
So take a walk, stop and listen, and you may see the new bird in town.


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