I never tire of watching these birds, and Eurasian collared-doves hold a special place for me. I had never seen one before moving to Utah, and the first day I saw one on our patio I dismissed it at a quick glance, believing it to be a mourning dove. Something about it caught my eye, however, and I looked closer - it didn't have the spotty wings of a mourning dove, it was much too big, and no mourning dove had that ring on the back of the neck. After a quick consultation with my favorite field guide (Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America), I had a new lifer on my list, and it's been a favorite bird of mine ever since.
Over the years, I've marveled at these doves' personalities - they tend to be more skittish and nervous than mourning doves and they're frantic eaters, which stems from that nervousness and a wariness of any potential predators. Their harsh coos remind me of owls, and like all birds, they are distinct individuals. I've had one that would smack its comrades with a wing if they got too close when feeding, and another one is a definite nipper. I've even had one visit that was partially leucistic, with patches of much paler feathers and an overall lighter coloration that made it distinctive.
A lot of backyard birders may feel that doves - particularly ones with such voracious appetites - are less than welcome at their feeders, but these beautiful birds will always be welcome at mine.