Oh, I have known these ever since I was a child! We call them "Turkish Doves" in German (this is translated verbatim into English) and I have always liked them. They are much smaller than your regular pigeon and look quite delicate. I wonder how they got over to your place, after all???
Yes they can be hard to approach. This was freehand through the kitchen window as he walked around my backyard. I've found them a little harder to approach than the native mourning doves. When I first saw this one it was next to a mourning dove and wanted to take a comparison shot. Mourning dove was gone, though, by the time I got my camera.
I can't remember how they got here, think I read it a couple of years ago when I first started seeing them. Some areas of the US have lots and they seem to be aggressive and possibly are pushing out the native dove in some places which concerns me. They are noticably bigger than mourning doves. Official name here is Eurasian Collared Dove. There are also some similar ring necked doves establishing themselves apparently.
Here is a small blurb about them, looks like it's known as turkish dove in France too. One article said they were introduced into Bermuda in the 1970's. Very common in Florida and I believe California as well. One guy on another board said he saw a pair in Montana last week and I've been seeing them frequently in SW Kansas and SE Colorado. Another friend said he saw lots of them on Tybee Island, GA last summer. In certain lighting they have a distinct lavender cast. Another article said they are still expanding rapidly and final range and impact on native birds is uncertain.
Tourterelle turque (French)
The Eurasian Collared-Dove has spread rapidly across much of North America. It made a similar expansion across Europe in the 1900s. It is thought that the species occurred historically only in and around India, and that a massive expansion in the 1600s brought it into Turkey and the Balkans.
The Eurasian Collared-Dove is often kept as a pet. The occurrence of the species in some areas of the United States can be traced not to the dispersal of wild breeders, but to escaped or released cage birds.
The domesticated Ringed Turtle-Dove is similar to the Eurasian Collared-Dove, and it frequently escapes or is released from captivity. The occurrence of the first Eurasian Collared-Doves in the United States went unnoticed for quite a while because of confusion with feral Ringed Turtle-Doves. The two species occasionally hybridize in wild populations.
As an additional insight into how they are expanding so rapidly, a male showed up in my neighborhood last spring and started cooing to attract a mate. This went on solo for a couple of months until one day there were a pair of doves. He apparently set up a territory and when female wandered through they set up housekeeping. Couldn't tell if a successful nesting was made and so far he is alone this year again. This is of course assuming it is the same one. He appears to be following the same pattern as last year on the same poles, powerlines, trees etc so it likely is the same one. He gives the appearance of aggressive territory defense and great persistance. The coo is easily distinguished from that of a mourning dove and I've talked to others who have noticed them around town for a couple of years.
If this bold venturing alone into unknown territory is typical of the breed it would account for why they can spread so rapidly. Of course you can't place much trust in casual observations of a couple of birds but it would fit I think.