Sunday, May 24, 2015

Metzger Marsh 5/18--Eurasian Collared-Dove-like bird

The most perplexing bird we found on the trip came just as we made the turn onto Bono Road, heading toward the causeway for Metzger Marsh. There is a little pull off I remembered from two years ago where we could scan a fallow field for pipits. There were no pipits that I could find (Killdeer, yes). Two women were also birding the small grove at the pull off and looking through a field guide. I wasn't paying much attention, until Shari called me over. They had showed her the bird they'd found quietly roosting in a small tree. I took one look at it, said "Eurasian Collared-Dove" and then remembered that one had been reported in the area. It was a very pale bird and I didn't think it had much of a collar, though it did have one when I viewed it from the back. I thought that was pretty cool. These doves seem to be getting everywhere.

But when I went to list it on eBird, under rarities, the list gave me an alternative I'd never considered: African Collared-Dove. I looked up the African Collared-Dove and found that they're con-specific with the Ringed Turtle Dove, both of which are kept as pets, though there are feral populations in some southern states. Someone speculated in their eBird report that this might be a hybrid. There were also two birds reported. It kept getting more complicated. Looking at the bird we saw I found that it had a red eye which is a field for African. In fact, the more I looked at our pictures, the more it looked like African. But the collar was still not convincing. I'm not hooked into the Ohio birding lists, so I don't know if this bird has been discussed or dismissed. For the nonce, it stays on the list. We each took pictures, I can't remember who's is who's.

The marsh itself was very productive:
34 species
Canada Goose  50
Trumpeter Swan  2
American Wigeon  5
Mallard  10
Common Loon  7    
Double-crested Cormorant  2
American White Pelican  1
Great Blue Heron  3
Great Egret  5
American Coot  5
Black-bellied Plover  8
Killdeer  2
Dunlin  2
Least Sandpiper  1
Short-billed Dowitcher  3
Ring-billed Gull  15
Herring Gull  10
Caspian Tern  5
Common Tern  10
Eurasian Collared-Dove  1    
Least Flycatcher  1
Eastern Kingbird  1
Tree Swallow  5
Barn Swallow  10
Wood Thrush  1     heard
Gray Catbird  1
Common Yellowthroat  5
American Redstart  2
Yellow Warbler  5
Northern Cardinal  2
Red-winged Blackbird  50
Common Grackle  10
Brown-headed Cowbird  5
Baltimore Oriole  2

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