Mourning Dove and Rufous Turtle Dove


The British Ornithologists' Union's Records Committee has today announced two additions to the British List as follows:


Press Release 11 December 2001

The following additions have been made to the British List and take effect when published in Ibis.

Add to Category A

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Carinish, North Uist, Outer Hebrides, first-winter, photographed 13-15 November 1999.

The identification of this bird, in a location and on a date indicative of a wild vagrant, was accepted without question. The captive status of the species was investigated and, with very few being held in collections, the possibility of it being an escape was considered unlikely. This constitutes the first British record of the species.

There is a record of a first-winter bird found in a Heligoland trap at the Calf of Man Bird Observatory, Isle of Man, on 31 October 1989, and found dead the next day, but records from the Isle of Man do not form part of the British List. There is an earlier Western Palearctic record of a first-winter female collected on Heimaey, Iceland, on 19 October 1955.

Rufous Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis meena)

Spurn, Yorkshire, first-winter, photographed 8 November 1975.

This record was accepted by BBRC, but not assigned to race. Publication of the record in Rare and Scarce Birds in Yorkshire (Wilson & Slack, 1996) stated that it was considered to be of the western race meena. The previous four records were racially undetermined, or were of the eastern race orientalis.

A decision on racial separation based on the current literature proved to be difficult, and the Committee examined skins from the Natural History Museum at Tring. This enabled them to unanimously agree that the bird belonged to the race meena, and this therefore becomes the first British record of this race.


Wilson A, and Slack R, 1996, Rare and Scarce Birds In Yorkshire (privately published).
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