Columba livia in Melbourne?

To: jenny spry <>,
Subject: Columba livia in Melbourne?
From: Sonja Ross <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2013 10:43:13 +1100
Hi Jenny and Carl,

Maybe its the result of that virus that was around in ?autumn/winter last year?

We had a BirdLife Melbourne Photography group outing to Mill Park Lakes 
Saturday morning and saw them there, and I think I've seen them at my local 
shopping centre too.


On 20/01/2013, at 12:25 PM, jenny spry wrote:

> Hi all,
> Like many people I start a Year List on 1st January each year. Now, because
> I live in Carlton North which is on the edge of the Melbourne CBD, my first
> birds for the year are usually introduced birds; Rock Dove, House Sparrow
> etc. Boring. For this reason I usually try for another common bird around
> here, Rainbow Lorikeet, to start my list and this year I was lucky because
> 2 flew over as I opened the front door.
> With the year safely underway with a native bird I then started on the
> rest. Common Myna? Yes. Starling? Yes. Turtle-Dove? Yes. House Sparrow?
> Yes. Rock Dove? Rock Dove? NO!!! For me this was a surprise because I live
> in the middle of a strip of cafés and a park. There are always Rock Doves
> around. They feed on pizza crumbs, picnic bits, dropped cake and anything
> else they can find. They are ubiquitous. They are "trash" birds. Common as
> muck. They are always here, but not on the morning of 1st Jan.
> Over the last 19 days I have kept watch for them as I drive and walk
> around. Walking to BirdLife in Carlton on Thursday I saw a total of 5 in
> Lygon Street, 3 in Swanston Street and none in Lincoln Square, a favourite
> lunch spot for local office workers. Driving to WTP on Friday there were
> none on the footpath in the Kensington shopping strip. A few loitered on
> the nature strips down the Old Geelong Rd through Footscray and Brooklyn.
> Today, a gorgeous 26º with blue skies, and there are none outside my house.
> The cafés are full, the park is full but no Rock Doves.Yesterday morning I
> went to the supermarket and where there are usually 20 there were 4;
> yesterday afternoon a walk around Princes Park football ground gave me 8; a
> local nature strip had 4; my local park had 2.
> Out of interest I went for a drive this morning. There was a group of 9 in
> the Carlton Gardens; there were none outside the library in Swanston
> Street; there were none on the RMIT campus; there were none in Flagstaff
> Gardens; there were none on any city footpath and, more worryingly, there
> were none that I could see at the Queen Vic Market. At Royal Park Wetland I
> found 2. Outside Melbourne Zoo there were none. I guess they might all be
> down at StKilda enjoying summer at the beach, eating fish and chips with
> the Silver gulls; or over at Rod Laver Arena watching the tennis, but there
> are not many in their normal haunts around here.
> My search of Melbourne has definitely not been extensive or exhaustive and
> maybe numbers drop off every summer, I don't know, but in 15 years of
> living here I don't ever remember walking out the front door and seeing
> none. Is it possible that they really do "migrate" to the beachside suburbs
> in summer? Has anyone else noticed a change in their local Rock Dove
> population or is it just in my area?
> cheers
> Jenny
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