>First an update on the fire of yesterday. A neighbor told me that in addition to two humans that three dogs also perished in the blaze. Investigation is ongoing.

This may not excite too many people but I am wondering if Ringed Turtle Doves are visiting my backyard. I first became aware of this pair of birds last spring, and day after day I heard a dove sound that was not the familiar Mourning Dove “coo-ah, coo, coo, coo.”

Eventually I saw the two birds, a little larger than a Mourning Dove, lighter in color and with a distinct black collar on the back of the neck.

Reports tell me that the Ringed Turtle Dove has lost almost all of its fear of larger animals but these did not want to be photographed, and besides, it was before I had my “good” camera. From time to time, over a period of weeks, I saw or heard the pair.

Two days ago, I heard, and then saw them again. But (damn) the battery in my camera was dead.

I have read that they cannot survive without human handouts, so I will continue to feed the birds with dove attracting food and really to hope to get a picture.

This site says “The species is not on the Alabama Bird List for this reason and any reports of Ringed Turtle-Doves would have to be substantiated by an ornithologist or recognized competent field observer to be accepted by the Alabama Bird Records Committee.”

The other possibility is the Eurasian Collared Dove, similar in appearance, but with a three syllable “coo COOO coo” instead of the two syllable “coo croo” of the Ringed cousin. Four of these guys were reported in Bessemer by one observer (not by me) during the recent Backyard Bird Count. I’m hoping for the Ringed Turtle Dove.

Really all I need to do is listen more carefully, I guess. And get a picture. The camera is charged.

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