HUNTING -- The 2017 mourning dove hunting seasons open in Idaho and Eastern Washington on Friday, but hunters can warm up on a similar bird with the blessings of wildlife biologists.
The Eurasian collared-dove is a fast-spreading exotic species that's unprotected in Washington and Idaho and can be shot by licensed hunters year-round where hunting/shooting is allowed. They're delicious, too.
- See my outdoors column on this imported and not necessarily welcome species.
- See an eBird chart that graphically shows the spread of ECD sightings across North America in two-year intervals, plus an updated version here.
Hunters must be able to distinguish the collared-dove from the similar mourning dove, which can be hunted in this region only during the designated September-October seasons.
Eurasian collared-doves are larger than mourning doves and slightly lighter in color. Aside from the diagnostic black collar on the backs of their necks, they also have a squared tail. The mourning dove has a pointed tail, which is unique among North American doves.
See more diagnostic features and listen to recordings that distinguish their different calls at the following Websites: