As National Nestbox Week draws to a close and the breeding season commences, I notice a homely pair of Collared Doves from the comfort of my window, the garden couple are often sat loved up in a Mallow tree just a few metres away. They seem to care not that I can watch as they fawn over each other, engage in mutual preening and every now and again the odd spot of al-fresco love-making!
Collared Doves are a relative newcomer to British gardens, the first breeding record in Britain occurred in Norfolk as recently as 1955. They’re rate of colonisation since then has been nothing short of astonishing as they have spread to such an extent that they are perhaps the most widely seen ‘pigeon’ in our gardens now. Some of their success is down to the length of their breeding season, they can breed from February through until October if you read the books though I have seen at least one image suggesting a fully grown juvenile at the end of January this year!