Mike. Cattle Egrets may have self-introduced but I would question whether it
was a "natural expansion" in that the presence of not-so-natural domestic
cattle was probably necessary for its success.
On Behalf Of Mike Carter
Sent: Thursday, 10 January 2008 4:07 PM
Subject: Fw: [Birding-Aus] Collared Turtle-dove in Murray Bridge,SA & other
I very much doubt that it is a Collared Dove AKA Eurasian Collared Dove
Streptopelia decaocto but as good as they are, we ain't gonna know from your
photos. Unfortunately, they don't show the diagnostic features. Shape of
wings, length of tail, and colouration of undertail coverts. Either hidden
or in shadow! It is far more likely to be a Barbary Dove S. risoria a
domesticated form of the closely related African Collared Dove S.
roseogrisea. They are widely held in captivity and feral populations have
been found in various parts of Australia and usually destroyed forthwith.
Which raises the question as to whether the now extensive British population
of decaocto self established in the last 60 years after spreading across
Europe should be regarded as feral and therefore destroyed. But if they had
been destroyed, we'd have been interfering in the natural world!
Just as we would have been if we'd destroyed the pioneering Cattle Egrets in
Australia. I'm sure that too was a natural expansion of the species. I'll
never forget when enroute to Australia in 1964 seeing two Cattle Egrets
flying steadily south over the Indian Ocean well east of Madagascar. The
nearest land in that direction was Antarctica. So they were doomed. But no
doubt others had tried their luck further east and spread the population of
their species to Australia.
Incidentally, I was astonished that I could find no mention of Barbary Dove
in Gibbs, Barnes & Cox, (2001), Pigeons & Doves, a Guide to the Pigeons &
Doves of the World, published by Yale. If it is not mentioned it is a
serious oversight. If you want information go to BWP.
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza VIC 3930
Tel (03) 9787 7136
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