birding-aus crested pigeons/spotted turtle doves

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Subject: birding-aus crested pigeons/spotted turtle doves
From: (Richard Johnson)
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 10:25:57 +1000
Hi All

My limited experience of the two species in Brisbane tends to agree with
John Leonard's recollections. Both species are common, with the spotties
being more characteristic of the more urbanised and exotic gardens.
I lived for several years in Gatton, a small town 90km W of Brisbane,
surrounded by lucerne and other horticultural farms, grazing land and
remnant bushland. Both CP's and spotties were abundant. CP's tended to
be more common than spotties in the open areas about town (parks, horse
paddocks, vacant lots etc) and on farms, with the reverse applying in
town. There was, however, a very broad overlap, perhaps because Gatton
is such a small town. Certainly, both species fed and bred in my 1/4acre
garden, though spotties were more common. If the two species are only
just coming into contact in Vic, it will be interesting to see if the SE
Qld experience (as John and I see it!) is repeated. Just how these two
birds partition resources would be an interesting study and easily done
(which I admit begs the question, why didn't I think to do it?). As an
aside, one of the pleasures of turtle-doves was that they seemed to be
highly favoured as food by the local collared sparrowhawks. I often
found piles of feathers in the garden where a spotty had been plucked
and on a couple of occasions saw a sparrowhawk pursue, overhaul and kill
a turtle-dove - spectacular! I suspect, but don't know, that the
sparrowhawks found the turtle-doves comparatively easy prey.

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