The Mysterious African Collared Dove
The African Collared Dove (Streptopelia roseogrisea) is an intriguing, medium-sized bird that is native to Africa, specifically found in Algeria and other countries south of the Sahara. It belongs to the dove and pigeon family, Columbidae. This species is neither a threatened nor endangered species, although its population can vary from region to region due to its penchant of visiting different habitats.
The most remarkable feature of the African Collared Dove is its startlingly attractive plumage. The body of the bird is typically snow white, with a pinkish-colored head, neck and mantle. This contrasts sharply with its jet black throat, tail and wings. Large, black-and-white collars adorn the upper breast giving the bird its namesake. To further distinguish itself, this species has distinctive, white markings around its eyes.
Behavioral Habits of the African Collared Dove
The African Collared Dove is a friendly and social bird, often seen in large flocks in open, grassy areas. It is usually seen foraging for food on the ground or perched on low vegetation, quietly observing the surroundings. Although ground foraging is the main form of food-strategy for this species, the African Collared Dove is also known to feed extensively in trees. It is a very agile flier and due to this great maneuverability; it is often seen dodging in and out of densely packed trees in search of food.
During breeding season, which usually takes place in the late spring or early summer, African Collared Doves form pairs and build flimsy nests in trees. The male and female will take turns incubating the eggs, which are typically two to three in number. The hatchlings are fed by their parents and the fledglings leave the nest within a week after hatching.
Diet of the African Collared Dove
The African Collared Dove is a seed-eater, preferring to feed on the seeds of grasses, weeds and the occasional fruits and berries. It will also supplement its diet with insects, especially during the breeding season. While foraging for food, the dove will pick up small pieces of foliage and twigs in its bill, often dropping them near its nest to construct a makeshift nest.
Interesting Facts About the African Collared Dove
The African Collared Dove has a unique way of calling, like an “oo-oo” sound, that is used to communicate with its mate to tell them they are safe or to warn them of danger.
The African Collared Dove often founds in the open areas around human settlement such as fields, farmlands and urban gardens.
The African Collared Dove is an excellent flier, capable of soaring in flocks of large numbers, often even without flapping its wings.
The African Collared Dove is closely related to the Rock Dove, which is the ancestor of all domestic pigeons.
The African Collared Dove is a beautiful and resilient bird, despite the unfavorable and often dangerous conditions it has to face in the wild. Its striking plumage, friendly nature and its ability to survive in even the harshest of climates make it a fascinating species to observe. Although the African Collared Dove is not considered to be at risk of extinction, it is still vulnerable to the effects of habitat destruction, climate change and bird poaching, so every effort should be made to ensure its survival.
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