SE student researching Eurasian Collared-Dove

By Randy Bruce

March 9, 2014

Sarah DeGarmo is a graduate student in Biology at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and she is seeking the public’s help to study an exotic bird.

She is working with Biology Professor Dr. Doug Wood to study an invasive, exotic bird species, the Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto). The Eurasian Collared-Dove is the larger of the doves in the Bryan County area, compared to the common Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) and less common White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica).

The Collared-Dove is distinguished by the black collar on the back of its neck. They are a pale light brown to gray in color with the tips of their wings darker than the rest of the body. Their tip of the tail is squared off compared to the tapered tail of the Mourning Dove. They can typically be seen perched on utility poles, wires, fences, and in trees. Collared-Doves are often seen present at backyard seed feeders and in parks.

DeGarmo’s research will provide data on nesting characteristics, such as location, materials, and when this bird nests in the area. She will also study how many eggs are laid per nesting cycle, how long the eggs are incubated, and the rate of hatching and fledgling of the Eurasian Collared-Dove young. This data is currently lacking for this bird species in Southern Oklahoma, as well as the United States.

DeGarmo and her research team is conducting nest searches from now through August in towns throughout Bryan County. Once a nest has been located, it will be monitored a few days per week to record nest characteristics, egg characteristics, incubation length, hatchlings, and fledglings.

She is reaching out to the community to aid in locating nests of the Eurasian Collared-Dove in Bryan County.

If you or your family enjoys the occasional bird watching from your porch or a park and see a flock of Eurasian Collared-Doves or a nest, please contact her with your name and the location of the birds. The small research team will then monitor the nest with appropriate permission.

Please contact Sarah DeGarmo via email at collareddoveproject@hotmail.com or by phone at 580-745-2272 if you have sightings of this species.