When I go to different cities, one thing that captures my attention is the difference in variety of local urban birds. For instance, the starlings in Arizona were huge compared to the ones I’m used to seeing in Southern California. The mourning doves in Istanbul are more of a reddish color than the ones here, and coo differently. I can’t help but feel like Charles Darwin, observing the difference in beak shapes of the finches in the Galapagos Islands, each type formed through years of evolution in isolation on an island. Usually, it’s the rock pigeons (the run-of-your-mill gray pigeons we see in almost every city) that seem to look the same everywhere.
Hong Kong had a disturbing lack of regular pigeons in the city, but I did notice many doves. They looked like standard mourning doves I’m used to seeing…
…except, these ones had silvery looking heads and dark necks laced with white spots! Yes, I was looking at a spotted dove, or Streptopelia chinensis.
Like all doves I’ve seen, they’re so impatient to walk around in circles frantically, making it difficult for me to photograph them well.