Barbary Dove


You know it’s time to buy a new field guide when the entry in yours reads “The status of Barbary Doves in New Zealand is marginal, with probably fewer than 100 birds”. That was 1996. This dove is now a common garden bird in many parts of Auckland and spreading. Next to sparrows they are perhaps the most easily habituated bird to feeder tables. So much so that I almost had to ban my daughter from feeding them. She had six regulars and each was given a name. I think Captain was the biggest and we quickly worked out the pecking order as we got to know them. After about a week we had doves wandering into the lounge looking for seed. All very nice but the poo became an issue and we moved the feed spot further from the house. Although we’ve stopped feeding them they still visit. I’ll be keen to read their entry in the new field guide – I’m sure it will give a population estimate much higher than 106.


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