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  BIRDING AZORES

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Eurasian Collared Doves (Rola-turca) Streptopelia decaocto in the Azores.


From the first sightings in 2006 the Collared Doves now have become an established breeding bird in the southern outskirts of Praia da Vitoria. Most birds are seen in the area from the industrial harbor and inland towards Álamos Bravos and Belo Jardim.
   The number of birds reported from the area increased very fast and in 2009 Carlos Pereira could confirm breeding via sightings of newly fledge juveniles being fed by adults. Carlos who has the best knowledge of the population reports recently that “they now are difficult to count. I hear them singing constantly, I see them in flight displays, and now and then I come across juveniles”.
   Since 2010 the Collared Doves in this area are no longer presented one by one in the Birding Azores year lists, but just summarized with the highest figure reported each month. The doves are now so common and difficult to count in the area that it seems reasonable to stop reporting them from there, unless there are very high numbers or large changes taking place.


Adult and juvenile Collared Doves at Cabo da Praia, Terceira (Photos 2011-03-16: Carlos Pereira).

Without no regular counting of Collared Doves in Terceira, the highest number reported in different months vary a lot. But it is clear that the area now holds a permanent breeding population.

Highest number of Collared Doves reported per month in Cabo da Praia area.
2009
Oct
5
2010
April
17
2010
Oct
85
2009
Nov
6
2010
May
5
2010
Nov
45
2009
Dec
16
2010
June
8
2010
Dec
35
2010
Jan
52
2010
July
4
2011
Jan
14
2010
Feb
10
2010
Aug
29
2011
Feb
15
2010
Mar
8
2010
Sept
10
2011
Mar
60

Record numbers before this period were: 2 (2006-09-16), 3 (2008-11-14), 5 (2008-12-04), and 22 (2009-09-12). Thereafter a record number of around 90 have been counted (2011-10-20).

   In many other parts of the Azores more and more Collared Doves are reported, and in some places there seem to be small permanent groups around but not yet with any confirmed breeding. In São Miguel there are reports from many places with repeated sightings both in Nordeste area and in northern parts of Ponta Delgada. Except for São Miguel and Terceira there are also a couple of reports from Santa Maria and many from Pico. The number of birds has increased rapidly east of Lajes do Pico in the areas of Terras, Arrife, Santa Bárbara and Caminho de Cima, and a record count of 98 was made 2011-11-29.
   All sightings outside the southern Praia da Vitória area are still collected and shown in the Birding Azores database.


Collared Doves at Cabo da Praia, Terceira (Photos 2011-01-28: Staffan Rodebrand (left) and 2010-08-18: Carlos Pereira).

Staffan Rodebrand, Sweden.

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