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Unveiling the Mysteries of the Mourning Collared-Dove: From Identification to Behavior and Conservation

The Mourning Collared-Dove, or Streptopelia decipiens, is a bird species native to parts of Asia. With its beautiful and distinct coloring, this dove stands out in a crowd.

In this article, we will explore the features that make up the Mourning Collared-Dove’s identification, as well as its plumages and molts. Let’s dive in and learn more about this fascinating bird.

Identification

Field

Identification:

The Mourning Collared-Dove is a medium-sized dove with a length of 28-31 centimeters and a wingspan of 47-55 centimeters. Its overall color is grayish brown, with lighter coloring on its underbelly and dark spots on its wings.

One of its most distinctive features is the black collar or hind-neck patch, which extends down to the sides of the bird’s neck. Similar Species:

The Mourning Collared-Dove can sometimes be confused with other dove species.

One common species that it may be mistaken for is the Eurasian Collared-Dove. However, the Eurasian Collared-Dove is larger and lacks the distinctive collar around its neck.

Another similar species is the Laughing Dove, which has a similar coloring but lacks the dark spots on its wings.

Plumages

The Mourning Collared-Dove has two distinct plumages: the breeding and non-breeding plumages. The breeding plumage is brighter and more colorful than the non-breeding plumage.

During this stage, the bird’s neck and breast become a vibrant pinky-lilac color, while its collar becomes more pronounced. In the non-breeding plumage, the bird’s coloring becomes more subdued, with less contrast between its collar and neck.

Molts

The Mourning Collared-Dove has a partial molt in the fall, where it replaces its wing and body feathers. During this time, the bird may appear duller in color due to the new feathers growing in.

The bird also has a complete molt in the spring, where it replaces all of its feathers. During both molts, the Mourning Collared-Dove may become less active and retreat to more secluded areas.

Conservation

The Mourning Collared-Dove is not currently listed as endangered, but its population has been declining in some areas due to habitat loss and hunting. It is important for us to preserve and protect this bird species, as it plays an important role in the ecosystem.

The Mourning Collared-Dove is a seed-eater and helps to maintain plant growth and seed dispersal. It is also a prey item for predators such as raptors, which helps to maintain a balanced ecosystem.

Conclusion

The Mourning Collared-Dove is a beautiful and unique species that deserves our attention and care. By understanding its identification, plumages, and molts, we can appreciate its beauty even more.

Continued conservation efforts are crucial to ensure that the Mourning Collared-Dove, and other bird species like it, continue to thrive and contribute to the health of our planet.

Systematics History

The Mourning Collared-Dove is a species of dove that belongs to the Streptopelia genus, which includes approximately 18-19 species of doves that are native to various parts of the world. The systematics history of the Mourning Collared-Dove has been subject to many revisions, as researchers constantly update their classification schemes to reflect new findings.

Geographic Variation

The Mourning Collared-Dove shows geographic variation in its plumage and morphology, which can differ from region to region. This variation can make it difficult to identify subspecies without detailed examination.

Genetic studies have shown that populations of the Mourning Collared-Dove across its range are genetically distinct, indicating that there may be further subspecies or even separate species within the complex.

Subspecies

Currently, four subspecies of the Mourning Collared-Dove are recognized based on variations in plumage and physical characteristics: Streptopelia decipiens decipiens, Streptopelia decipiens sumatrana, Streptopelia decipiens palawanensis, and Streptopelia decipiens quelpartensis. Streptopelia decipiens decipiens: This subspecies is found in south and southeast Asia, from the eastern Himalayas to the east coast of India, and from northern Myanmar to southern Thailand.

The birds in this subspecies have a relatively thin black collar, with a pale purplish-pink shade on their forehead. Streptopelia decipiens sumatrana: This subspecies is native to the large islands of Sumatra, Java, and Bali.

The birds in this subspecies are slightly darker than the other subspecies, with a broader black collar. Streptopelia decipiens palawanensis: This subspecies is found only on the Palawan islands of the Philippines.

The birds in this subspecies have a bluish-grey coloring on their head and neck, and a distinct brownish cast to their wings and back. The black collar is also thinner than in other subspecies.

Streptopelia decipiens quelpartensis: This subspecies is found only on the Korean island of Jeju, also known as Quelpart Island. The birds in this subspecies are smaller and have a thinner collar than other subspecies.

Related Species

The Mourning Collared-Dove is part of the Streptopelia genus, which includes other species such as the Eurasian Collared-Dove, Spotted Dove, and Laughing Dove. The Eurasian Collared-Dove is often mistaken for the Mourning Collared-Dove, but it has a larger body size and lacks the dark spots on its wings.

The Spotted Dove has similar coloring but lacks a black collar, and the Laughing Dove has a distinctly different call and a reddish-brown coloring.

Historical Changes to Distribution

The distribution of the Mourning Collared-Dove has changed over time due to various factors such as habitat destruction, hunting, and climate change. The species is native to a wide range of countries in Asia, including India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

It has also been introduced to several other countries, including the United States, Canada, and parts of Europe. The historical changes to the distribution of the Mourning Collared-Dove in Asia have been significant.

In some areas, the species has disappeared entirely due to hunting and the destruction of their natural habitat for agricultural purposes. In other areas, the bird’s range has expanded due to human activities such as the planting of fruit trees and the creation of new habitats in urban areas.

These changes have been documented in several studies, including those conducted by birdwatchers and scientists who track bird population trends. In addition to changes in Asia, the Mourning Collared-Dove has also expanded its distribution beyond its native range.

This expansion has been facilitated by human activities such as the introduction of the species to new areas and the creation of new habitats. In the United States, for example, the Mourning Collared-Dove was first introduced in the 1970s and has since spread across much of the country.

In Europe, the species has been observed in several countries, including England, France, and Spain.

Conclusion

The Mourning Collared-Dove is a bird species that has undergone significant changes in its systematics history and distribution over time. The variations in plumage and morphology observed across the different subspecies of the bird highlight the complexity of its taxonomy, and the species’ geographic distribution has also been subject to change due to numerous factors.

Despite these transformations, continued conservation efforts are needed to protect this beautiful bird and ensure that it continues to thrive across its range.

Habitat

The Mourning Collared-Dove is a versatile species that can adapt to various habitats, including forests, agricultural areas, scrublands, grasslands, and urban areas. They are found at elevations ranging from sea level to 1,800 meters, depending on the region.

In agricultural areas, Mourning Collared-Doves can often be seen feeding on crops such as rice, wheat, and sorghum. They are also known to visit fruit-bearing trees such as mango, fig, and papaya.

In scrublands and grasslands, they forage on seeds scattered on the ground. In urban areas, the birds can often be found roosting on buildings and feeding on bird seeds put out by humans.

Overall, the species is adaptable and can thrive in areas with different types of vegetation.

Movements and Migration

The movement patterns and migration behaviors of the Mourning Collared-Dove vary across their range. Some populations are sedentary, meaning they remain in the same area year-round.

Other populations may undertake local or long-distance movements. In some regions, the Mourning Collared-Dove undergoes altitudinal migrations, where they move up and down the mountains with seasonal changes.

For example, in the Himalayas, the birds move to higher elevations during the summer and return to lower elevations in the winter. They have also been observed to move to coastal areas during the non-breeding season.

Some populations of Mourning Collared-Doves are also known to undergo seasonal migration over long distances. For example, some populations in China and Japan undertake long-distance migration to escape cold winter temperatures, while others move from highland areas to lower elevations.

However, not all populations of the Mourning Collared-Dove migrate. For example, in areas such as the Philippines and Indonesia, most populations are resident, meaning they remain in one area throughout the year.

In addition to physical movements, the Mourning Collared-Dove also has vocal migration behavior. During the breeding season, males establish territories and attract females with cooing calls.

These calls can vary across populations, with different subspecies of Mourning Collared-Doves using slightly different calls. The birds also use calls to communicate with each other during migration and other movements.

Conservation

The Mourning Collared-Dove is not currently listed as threatened or endangered. However, the population trends of the species vary across its range.

Some populations in certain areas, such as India, have declined in recent years due to deforestation and hunting. To help protect the species, conservation measures such as reducing habitat destruction and preserving natural habitats are essential.

In addition, regulating hunting and controlling the introduction of non-native predators can also help to ensure the survival of the species in the long term. Mourning Collared-Doves can also be kept as pets, and the species is commonly seen in the exotic pet trade.

However, it is important to purchase these birds from reputable breeders and to refrain from capturing wild birds. This helps to reduce pressure on wild populations and minimize the risk of spreading diseases between captive and wild populations.

Conclusion

The Mourning Collared-Dove is a widely distributed species that can adapt to various habitats and movement patterns. Some populations migrate over long distances, while others remain sedentary.

As with many bird species, conservation efforts are important to protect the Mourning Collared-Dove from habitat destruction and hunting. By understanding the species’ movements and habitats, we can help ensure that this beautiful bird remains a vital part of our ecosystems for generations to come.

Diet and Foraging

Feeding:

The Mourning Collared-Dove is a seed-eater that feeds mainly on the ground. They use their bill to pick up seeds and grains from the ground and may also snatch insects in flight.

The doves are typically found in small or large groups that forage together for food. During the breeding season, they may also feed on insects, snails, and other invertebrates to supplement their diet.

Diet:

The Mourning Collared-Dove primarily feeds on seeds and grains, including those from crops such as rice, wheat, and sorghum. They also feed on fruits such as figs, papayas, and grapes.

The doves have been observed eating insects such as ants, termites, and beetles, especially during the breeding season. They may also consume snails and other invertebrates when available.

Metabolism and Temperature Regulation:

The Mourning Collared-Dove can regulate its internal temperature by altering its metabolic rate. During cold temperatures, the bird may increase its metabolic rate to generate more body heat.

During hot temperatures, the bird may decrease its metabolic rate to conserve energy and reduce body heat. The Mourning Collared-Dove also uses other methods to regulate its body temperature, such as panting and seeking shade.

Sounds and Vocal

Behavior

Vocalization:

The Mourning Collared-Dove produces a variety of vocalizations that vary depending on the context. During the breeding season, males use cooing calls to establish territories and attract females.

The calls may vary across populations, with different subspecies of Mourning Collared-Doves using slightly different calls. The males typically perch on high points and call out to attract mates.

In addition to cooing, the Mourning Collared-Dove may produce other sounds, including a quiet grunting or moaning sound during courtship displays. The birds may also make a soft hooting or growling sound when startled or alarmed.

Outside of the breeding season, the Mourning Collared-Dove may also produce alarm calls to alert others of potential danger. These calls are characterized by a series of short, repetitive coos.

Overall, the Mourning Collared-Dove has a range of vocalizations that serve different purposes depending on the situation. The calls allow the birds to communicate with each other and establish territories, attract mates, and warn of potential threats.

Conclusion

The Mourning Collared-Dove is a seed-eating bird that feeds mainly on the ground. They have a diverse diet that includes seeds, grains, fruits, and occasionally insects and invertebrates.

The birds can regulate their internal temperature through metabolic rate changes and other methods. The Mourning Collared-Dove produces a range of vocalizations that are used for communication and help the birds establish territories, attract mates, and warn of potential danger.

By understanding the sounds and eating habits of this beautiful bird, we can appreciate the complexity of its behavior and work towards protecting it for future generations.

Behavior

Locomotion:

The Mourning Collared-Dove is primarily a ground-dwelling bird that moves about by walking or running. They have relatively short wings and typically fly only for short distances when necessary, such as to escape predators or to move between trees in search of food.

Self Maintenance:

The Mourning Collared-Dove spends a significant portion of its day preening and grooming itself. They use their bill and claws to remove dirt, parasites, and dried skin from their feathers.

Regular preening helps to keep the feathers clean and protects the bird from excessive heat loss or gain. Agonistic

Behavior:

Mourning Collared-Doves are known to exhibit intense territorial and agonistic behavior during breeding season.

Males establish territories and defend them against other males using aggressive displays such as fanned tail feathers and puffed-up chests. They may also engage in aerial displays wherein they fly up and down vertically while flapping their wings loudly.

In addition to aggression towards other males, the birds may also become aggressive towards birds of other species that encroach on their territory. Sexual

Behavior:

During mating season, males tend to perform courtship displays and call out to attract females.

Once a pair is established, both birds will work together to construct a nest, incubate the eggs, and raise their young. The males may also bring food to the females during the incubation period and after the chicks hatch.

Breeding

The Mourning Collared-Dove breeds primarily during the dry season. They typically lay 2 white eggs in a cup-shaped nest made of twigs, grasses, or other materials.

Both males and females incubate the eggs for approximately 14 days. After hatching, the chicks are fed by both parents for up to 18 days before they are able to leave the nest.

The Mourning Collared-Dove may breed in small or large dispersed groups or colonies.

Demography and Populations

The Mourning Collared-Dove is not currently considered to be threatened or endangered, and its populations have been recorded as stable. The bird’s range extends across various countries in southeast Asia, including India, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The populations in these countries vary widely, with some areas experiencing declining populations due to habitat loss and hunting. Despite its stable populations, the Mourning Collared-Dove is still at risk of declining numbers due to habitat destruction and hunting, especially in areas with heavy agricultural use.

In addition, the dove is also at risk of disruption due to climate change.

Conservation efforts, such as the protection of natural habitats and the reduction of hunting pressure, can help to maintain stable populations of this species.

Conclusion

The Mourning Collared-Dove is a ground-dwelling bird that moves about primarily through walking and running. They spend a significant amount of time grooming themselves and exhibiting agonistic behavior towards others during breeding season.

The Mourning Collared-Dove breeds primarily during the dry season, constructing a cup-shaped nest and laying up to two eggs. Its populations are currently stable but are at risk of decline due to habitat destruction, hunting, and climate change.

Understanding the behavior, breeding patterns, and populations of the Mourning Collared-Dove can help in the development of effective conservation strategies to protect this beautiful and essential species.

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