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The genus Streptopelia is from the Greek streptos, a collar of twisted chain mail, and peleia, a dove. And interestingly their species name decaocto is the name of a servant girl from a Greek folktale that was transformed into a dove by the gods to escape; the dove’s mournful cry recalls her former life. The song is a koo-KOO-kook.
They are a pale buff-gray dove with a black collar and noticeably larger than a Mourning Dove. They also have red eyes (adults have brighter red eyes than juveniles). Studies on interactions between collared-doves and other species have not yet shown a negative impact on populations of native birds, including Mourning Doves. Some thoughts are that they fill the niche of the Passenger Pigeon, once the most common bird in North America that went into a catastrophic decline in numbers and then extinct by 1914 due to over-hunting.
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