Dove, African Collared
The African Collared Dove has an average body length of around 26cm/10 inches. It has a pale grayish brown upper body from the shoulders extending to the tail, and its wing edges bear a bluish tinge. The African Collard Dove's flight feathers are darker, almost black in color and its head, neck and breast are pinkish, blending to white on the chin its belly. The female African Collared dove is slightly different in appearance to the male and she exhibits less of the pink on her head, neck and chest.
Although the live in arid lands, frequenting savanna and thorn scrub environs, the African Collared Dove is usually found near water sources. Populations of the African Collared Dove are found in Northern Africa, Africa south of the Sahara Desert, and extending in a band through the continent into western, central and southwestern Arabia. It is reported to have been introduced into New Zealand, but it is more likely that the birds there are descended from domestic Barbary Doves.
The African Collared Dove feeds mostly on seeds and berries. It forages on the ground, and also eats bread and other food left or placed by humans
The meat of the African Colored Dove is very lean, dense, dark, and rich.
African Collared Dove males and females live as monogamous pairs. The usually breed between October and February and they re-nest several times a season. The female lays two white eggs on a simple platform made of twigs, and both adults incubate the eggs for about 15 days before the chicks hatch. The young doves take another 14 days to become fully independent. The African Collared Dove has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. The call of the African Colored Dove is a constant “coo-crooo.” The African Collared Dove is the species thought to be the wild ancestor of the domestic Barbary Dove, though some suggest the Eurasian Collared Dove may also have been involved. The African Collared Dove is able to hybridize with the Barbary Dove, and it is thought that the increase in the range of colors of Barbary Doves available that occurred in the later twentieth century was the result of the importation of African Collared Doves into the United States for interbreeding.
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