In the early hours of a summer morning in southeast Alaska, a noisy bird starts calling. It's a Eurasian collared dove, a recent immigrant to Alaska, and to the United States. Looking similar to the familiar mourning dove, the Eurasian collared dove is native to the Middle East - as its name would imply.
Eurasian collared doves were brought to the Bahamas in the early 1970s as pets, and in 1974 about 50 of the birds escaped from a pet store in Nassau. Within a few years they made it to Florida. The species is strongly dispersive - meaning the young doves travel when they fledge. Its expansion westward and northward is remarkable, and the species is now common across much of North America. Eurasian collared doves were first seen in Alaska in 2006 in Ketchikan, and by 2011 they were documented in most Southeast communities; as of 2016 they are nesting in Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau. The doves primarily feed on grain, so they are not likely to thrive in Alaska on wild food and they are mostly seen in towns at feeders. The first sighting in Anchorage was in 2015. That means that the successive generations of doves pushed northwest an average of 150 miles each year since that initial landfall in Florida
Although a pair of doves raises just one or two chicks in a brood, in warmer climates, they breed year-round and can raise six broods a year. And those young like to travel.