When does a bird become a continuity error?

You wouldn’t have heard the plaintive and ubiquitous sound of an English summer, the incessant “coo-coo-coooh” of a collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) here until 1953, when they first began to settle and breed.

According to Wikipedia:

The collared dove is not migratory, but is strongly dispersive. Over the last century, it has been one of the great colonisers of the bird world, travelling far beyond its native range to colonize colder countries, becoming naturalised in several. Its original range at the end of the 19th century was warm temperate and subtropical Asia from Turkey east to southern China and south through India to Sri Lanka. In 1838 it was reported in Bulgaria, but not until the 20th century did it expand across Europe, appearing in parts of the Balkans between 1900–1920, and then spreading rapidly northwest, reaching Germany in 1945, Great Britain by 1953 (breeding for the first time in 1956), Ireland in 1959, and the Faroe Islands in the early 1970s

Of course, they now feature in endless outdoor scenes in period dramas and films set well before 1953; you can think of them as avian continuity errors.

Seems that I have been prattling on about this for years. Just found an old archived blog entry from January 2005 that mentions the same continuity error!

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.