The Peaceful Nature of Doves

Throughout recorded human history, doves have often been chosen as images of peace.  After all, most doves are mild-mannered birds that avoid conflict with other species.

However, as Eurasian collared doves have spread across the U.S. (see March of the Collared Dove), there has been some concern that they might threaten the welfare of native dove species, especially the beloved and widespread mourning dove.  Larger, hardier and somewhat more aggressive than most North American doves, the collared doves have adapted to a wide variety of habitats across our Continent, from the subtropics of Florida to Western desert grasslands.

Collared doves first appeared on our Littleton, Colorado, farm in 2008 and at least one pair has inhabited our property ever since.  Easily distinguished from mourning doves by their distinctive call, larger size and paler plumage, the immigrants seem to get along well with their smaller cousins and I have not noticed any reduction in the mourning dove population; indeed, at least on our property, the latter remain far more common.  If only humans would learn from these doves and welcome immigrants with benevolence and peaceful coexistence.