Those who follow my blog might remember my series, Birds We See Around, which I started to showcase birds that come to my garden both regularly and seasonally. The idea of starting the series sprang up with the arrival of a migratory bird, black redstart, in my garden last winter. It was a tiny, beautiful creature and perhaps has migrated northwards as we are about to experience summer in this part of the world. I hope it will come back again in winter.
As spring is in full bloom, a number of birds are visiting us every morning and afternoon. Of them, the most regular ones are Spotted Doves. The spotted doves look somewhat like a pigeon with a comparatively longer tail and rich, dappled plumage. They have a white-spotted black patch on the upper side of the neck that makes them look distinctly different from Mourning Doves. The tail is white-tipped which is only visible when they are flying. They take the fly from the ground with a great flutter and rapid wing-beats that often startles other small birds like sparrows and common tailorbirds. However, I love to watch them taking a flight or gliding down to a perch.
They come in a group; about five to six and it seems they share a great camaraderie. They feed on grass seeds, grains and pieces of fruits and never interfere in other’s affairs. They are quite decorous in nature, I must admit.
Spotted doves are mostly found in the Indian sub-continent, China and Hawaii. They live both in urban and rural areas and, the nesting occurs mostly in pairs. The male expresses its amorous feelings with a typical cooing sound. Normally, they make a soft cooing sound as krooo-krooo-koo with the repetition of koo at the end. It’s mellifluous and quite soothing to the ears.
If you’re interested, you can listen to the call here.
It’s a pleasure framing these birds as they are great poseurs and, a little patience yields highly satisfying results. I especially love their eyes, bright and beautiful like glistening beads.
The spotted doves, though are common to find, often are hunted down by humans as well as preying birds. If this continues, soon this bird will also register its name in the list of endangered species.