I’m firmly answering these questions only because we, the members of ‘Bangladesh Wild Life Club’ didn’t find or see this bird anywhere around Bagerhat-Fakirhat and Khulna’s Rupsha upazila since the 1980s. We finally got a glimpse of the bird around 10 am on 9 March last and, that too in my own village. We saw the bird beyond ‘Mirer Bhita’ towards the northern edge of my village.

I stayed at my village from 25 February to 18 March. And, I roamed around every single day to watch birds as well as other wild animals. I wondered off to countless rural forest and fields there during my stay. While doing so, I got to see this bird on that day.

However, throughout the 60s to the 80s this bird was abundant in Bagerhat region. There were no villages where this bird was not seen or heard, especially during the breeding season.

This bird used to be seen more in the croplands after the seeds of paddy, mustard sesame etc. and different types of pulses were sown. Then there were vast fields lined with rows of Indian ash trees locally known as Jiga Gach, there were barren lands and jungles of bushy trees.

I even ate the eggs of this bird as a child when I stole them from their nests. Sometimes, I also caught the incubating bird from the nest, stealthily climbing the tree at night. Their eggs are almost the same size as the eggs of rock pigeon, better known as Jalali Kobutor to us. In fact, this bird is also similar to the rock pigeon in form and build.

The name of the bird is Dhola Ghughu, Dholia Ghughu, Mala Ghughu, Dhoile Ghughu and Dhobol Ghughu. It is called Eurasian collared dove in English. And, its scientific name is streptopelia dococto.

* Sharif Khan is writer on birds and wildlife

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