Over the last few months in Prince Rupert it’s been common to hear a dove that’s cooing early in the mornings or at dusk.
This particular bird sound is described as a three- note koo-KOO-kook.
According to Reto Riesen, a professor at Northwest Community College in Prince Rupert, the bird in question is a Eurasian Collared Dove.
“They’ve been on the North Coast about three or four years,” Riesen said.
“The first one I heard about was in Kincolith, and there were some records of sightings in Terrace. Then last year someone recorded one in Prince Rupert.”
Eurasian Collared Doves have been moving across North America rapidly, after being introduced to the Bahamas in the 1970s.
A blog titled Project Bird Feeder Watch suggests “no species of bird has colonized North America at the speed with which the Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) has marched across the continent. First found nesting just south of Miami, Florida, in 1982, this non-native dove has rapidly adapted to human-altered environments from Florida to Alaska.”
Riesen said the dove is similar to the Rock Pigeon. Nodding a yes, he explained that the experts switch back and forth from using the name dove or pigeon.
Some locals may have mistaken the new dove sounds to that of an owl, but when it comes to owls in and around Prince Rupert, Riesen said they are rarely heard during the day.
The owls he has identified locally are the sowet, barred and pygmy. People can find the pygmy owl just off Kaien Island.
“You don’t have to travel far. When they were doing the environmental survey for the port expansion, a great horned owl was identified,” he added.