Doves descending on Coatesville

Last updated 05:00 20/01/2011
dove

A DOVE: Large numbers of doves have started filling trees around Auckland gardens

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It could be a scene out of the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds.

Large numbers of doves have started filling trees around Auckland gardens and parks in the last couple of years.

Plenty of them are in Coatesville, for instance.

Their behaviour could hardly be called hostile but numbers of the Malay spotted dove are definitely increasing,  Mel Galbraith of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand says.

These elegant birds have increased their numbers significantly in the past five years or so, he says.

"They can be quite tame and are rather endearing strutting about.''

Their cooing is sometimes mistaken for the nocturnal morepork call.

But people needn't be worried about them taking over our native bush, he says.

"They don't fit the definition of an invasive species, and occupy parks and gardens where you wouldn't normally find many natives.''

The Conservation Department agrees and says at this stage they have no concerns about the sudden increase.

"The birds are seed feeders. Berries rather than seeds are generally found in native bush,'' DOC spokeswoman Amy Cameron says.

A large number of the Asian doves, which are naturally found from India to Timor, were released at Mt Eden in the 1920s, and have been found around Auckland parks and gardens ever since.

They are also found in the Bay of Plenty.

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