Date: 7/5/18 9:06 am
From: Brent Ortego <brentortego...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: Eurasian collared dove population crash?
In 2014, I sort of went birding for Eurasian Collared-Doves. I took a vacation to the Dakotas to see the prairie pothole region which is the major waterfowl and grassland bird production area for the U.S. I drove north by traveling on I-35 and U.S. Hwy. 281. I found EUCD in every town I passed through until I found a couple of small communities in N. Dakota that did not appear to have any, yet. Impressive mid-continent dispersion of this species.

I have been looking at dove numbers on CBCs because populations appear to be changing. With all the discussion as to what is in our back yards, lets look at the numbers we helped produce at a state-wide level on the CBCs.

For this summary I looked at the last 15 years of data and broke them into three 5-year segments. The numbers reported will be the total for each 5-year segment.

Rock Pigeon = 155,072 208,652 177,865

Eur. Collared-Dove = 19,333 37,483 42,432 Population expansion appears to have slowed during last 5 years

Inca Dove = 11,351 10,764 7,860 Population was well below average during each of the last 3 years.

Com. Ground-Dove = 4,597 4,537 2,875 Population was well below average during each of the last 3 years.

White-tipped Dove = 781 922 902

White-winged Dove = 86,232 110,169 150,858 Population is still expanding.

Mourning Dove = 172,791 174,913 166,211

Birder participation has increased most years through this period. If a population was stable, the count numbers should be experiencing a small increase in conjunction with the annual increase in birder effort.

Brent Ortego
Texas CBC Editor
From: <texbirds-bounce...> <texbirds-bounce...> on behalf of Clay Taylor <Clay.Taylor...>
Sent: Thursday, July 5, 2018 9:02 AM
To: <kbarnold2...>
Cc: <donutposse1...>; <brushfreeman...>; Joseph Kennedy; 4 Texbirds Maillist
Subject: [texbirds] Re: Eurasian collared dove population crash?

All -

When I first started visiting Corpus Christi in 1999 / 2000, the only reliable spot to see them in the Calallen area was on Rt624 nor far from Hazel Bazemore Park. Joel Simon and I used the spot for Big Days, etc. If you went a mile in either direction from he spot, no ECDs.

My house is about a mile and a half from that location, and in 2018 my yard is NEVER without ECDs and WWDOs. The largest single count I had for ECDs last winter was 43 at the feeders and perched on my roof. They are doing quite well, thank you, except for the ones that get picked off by the local wintering Cooperís Hawks. My neighborhood has many well-fed Coops every winter. Hey, Iím feeding the birds, right?

When I am putting out seed, the dove population is roughly 40% ECD, 30% WWDO, 20% Inca Doves, and 10% MODO. Rock Pigeons almost never land in the yard, and Common Ground Doves and White-tipped Doves are sporadic.

Right now the Incas, WWDOs, and MODOs are nesting (again), but I have not yet seen an ECD nest in the yard.

Clay Taylor
TOS Life Member
Swarovski Optik N.A.
(Calallen) Corpus Christi, TX

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 4, 2018, at 5:54 PM, Keith Arnold <kbarnold2...><mailto:<kbarnold2...>> wrote:

In our area(B/CS), Eurasian Collare-Doves have never been numerous, but seem to have maintained their (low) at the locations where I usually expect to encounter them.
On the other hand, White-winged Doves have increased significantly with some effect on resident Mourning Doves, but more to the point, Inca Doves have practically disappeared.
Keith Armold

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 4, 2018, at 5:31 PM, Devin Collins <donutposse1...><mailto:<donutposse1...>> wrote:

I started seeing Eurasian collared doves in Austin about 2-3 years ago, near pflugerville/round rock. Location is just south and west of IH-35 at SH-45 (Louis Henna). They were new to me, and interesting because I mentally went through the different dove species I had seen growing up in Houston, vs the doves I see in Austin, comparing. I havenít noticed the number of collared doves either increase or decrease - itís about the same at 1/10 doves I see around my office.

In Houston, in the late 80s-early 90s, we didnít have white wing doves at all, at least that me and my dad saw. I only saw WW doves for the first time after I moved to Austin in 2002. We did have mourning, inca, and rock doves (now rock pigeons). When I moved to Austin I noticed fewer mourning doves but tons of white wing doves, and about the same number of Inca doves (always one of my favorite birds to spot, in the yard or at the feeders). I mostly lived in Alief/Addicks, around Highway 6 and Alief Clodine or hwy6/westheimer area - but in 91-92 moved to Shepherd and Pinemont, farther north and west.

I remember the cattle egrets too, always in the fields or even perched up on a cow itself, just hanging out

On Jul 4, 2018, at 10:32 AM, Brush Freeman <brushfreeman...><mailto:<brushfreeman...>> wrote:


The same thing happened with Cattle Egrets after their peak population explosion in Texas in the mid-80's

On Wed, Jul 4, 2018 at 8:59 AM, Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...><mailto:<josephkennedy36...>> wrote:
A couple of years ago I sort of noticed that there were not as many collared doves around the smith point area. Did not see them crossing the bay and places that had large numbers had fewer. Last summer there were fewer but Harvey had something to do with it but did start checking other spots. Numbers on Bolivar were down too as well as around the house.

This summer actually went and censused.

A few years ago I could see 10-15 male doves do their courtship flight over voss and westheimer when I stopped at the red light. This year I see none. The several pairs at the grocery store are gone except for one pair and none have come by the feeder.

Numbers are down maybe 90% on bolivar based on general impressions rather than ticked off numbers.

Had trouble finding more than single pairs at smith point Monday with none at some points that used to have lots

This population drop has occurred over 3 summers in places where I go and sort of count birds every week or at least very often year round. So it is not just a local event.

Has anyone noted similar trends elsewhere. Similar population drops have affected other invasive species after an initial great spurt in numbers as predators and parasites bring the newcomer into control.

The changes at home have not affected the mourning dove and white-winged dove numbers; if anything they are both up. Rock pigeons numbers are up significantly on Bolivar in the same places that I noted collared dove population decreases. And those two species do not compete for nesting sites but perhaps for food.

Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston


Brush Freeman
Utley & Cedar Park, Texas

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