Laughing Doves on Lesvos

Bird news
STSEN on ground_E. Galinou

On September 27 Giorgos Mamolis, a resident of the Mitilini area, posted a mobile photo of a strange dove on Facebook. This was immediately noticed by Stelios Zannetos a Ph.D. Candidate student at the Environmental Studies Dept. and keen birder that shared the finding on "Lesvos Bird News" group that the kalloni EIC administrates on Facebook. The following day Valerie Karameta Triboulot visited the spot to photograph 2 (!) birds, again on mobile. A day later she visited with her proper bird photographing equipment to manage to discover a nest of Laughing Doves with two well-grown chicks!! The birding community of Greece became thrilled!

Laughing Doves (Streptopelia senegalensis) are found in Africa, the Arabian up to the Indian Peninsula, and Asia Minor. But in Turkey, it has an incontinuous distribution, found mainly around Istanbul, Ankara, at the far eastern parts of the country, and, finally, at its central and southern coast. In Greece the species has been reported a few times (in eastern parts of our country), while on Lesvos there are 3 records: in Achladeri (1994 by P.D.Hanson as reported in the book "Birds of Greece"), in Anaxos (2014 by Mark Cassidy Snr) and a last one in Panagiouda (2018 by Alan Troyer)..

On the nest feeding the chicks (photo Valerie Karameta Triboulot)
STSEN_Loutra_210930_Valerie Kamareta Triboulot

After being accepted by the Rare Birds Comitee of Greece, a typical procedure as the birds can be identified, without doubt, it will be added to the breeding birds of Greece list as a new species.

The Laughing Doves were visited by every single true birder of the island, together with visitor birders that were here for the autumn migration.

Comparison with the common Collared Dove, dehind (photo: E. Galinou- Kalloni EIC)
STSEN and STDEC for comparison
Laughing Doves, female on the left (photo: E. Galinou- Kalloni EIC)
STSEN pair