White-winged dove

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White-winged dove
Zenaida asiatica -Tuscon -Arizona -USA -8a.jpg
Perching on a saguaro cactus in Tucson, Arizona
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Zenaida
Species: Z. asiatica
Binomial name
Zenaida asiatica
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) is a dove whose native range extends from the south-western USA through Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. In recent years with increasing urbanization and backyard feeding, it has expanded throughout Texas and into Louisiana and coastal Mississippi. It has also been introduced to Florida.

The White-winged Dove is expanding outside of its historic range into Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and northern New Mexico. Unlike most of the White-winged Doves in Texas, the doves in these regions do not migrate in winter.

The rock singer Stevie Nicks, a native of Arizona, where the bird is most common in the USA, mentions the White-winged Dove and its call prominently in her 1981 hit "Edge of Seventeen".

Description[edit]

In Texas
In Tucson, Arizona

White-winged Doves are large, plump doves at 29 cm (11 in). They are brownish-gray above and gray below, with a bold white wing patch that appears as a brilliant white crescent in flight and is also visible at rest. Adults have a patch of blue, featherless skin around each eye and a long, dark mark on the lower face. Their eyes are bright crimson. The sexes are similar, but juveniles are more brown than adults. They have a blue eye ring and their legs and feet are brighter pink/red. Young also have brown eyes. Males have a slight iridescent sheen on their heads.

Pair eating fruits in a nispero tree, Aserrí, San José, Costa Rica

Behavior[edit]

The cooing calls is hoo, hoo, hoo-hoo. A drawn-out "hoo-a" sound is used to tell others about the presence of a predator. To impress females, males circle them with tail spread and wings raised. Males and females work together in raising the young. While calling, the tail flares. Families and nestmates often stay together for life, perching and foraging together.

Cooing, Monterrey Mexico

Ecology[edit]

Most populations of White-winged Doves are migratory, wintering in Mexico and Central America. The White-winged Dove inhabits scrub, woodlands, desert, urban, and cultivated areas. It builds a flimsy stick nest in a tree of any kind and lays two cream-colored to white, unmarked eggs. One chick often hatches earlier and stronger, and so will demand the most food from the parents. A dove may nest as soon as 2–3 months after leaving the nest, making use of summer heat. The dove will nest as long as there is food and enough warmth to keep fledglings warm. In Texas, they nest well into late August.

White-winged Doves feed on a variety of seeds, grains, and fruits. Western White-winged Doves (Zenaida asiatica mearnsii) migrate into the Sonoran Desert to breed during the hottest time of the year because they feed on pollen and nectar, and later on the fruits and seeds of the Saguaro cactus. They also visit feeders, eating the food dropped on the ground. Cracked corn is a favorite of doves. This gregarious species can be an agricultural pest, descending on grain crops in large flocks. It is also a popular gamebird in areas of high population.

Probable male

References[edit]

  • Kelling, Steve. "Cornell Lab of Ornithology". "What we’re learning: Dynamic Dove Expansions: Citizen Science illustrates the spectacular range expansions taking place throughout North America". Audubon Conservation. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  • "National Geographic" Field Guide to the Birds of North America ISBN 0-7922-6877-6
  • Handbook of the Birds of the World Vol 4, Josep del Hoyo editor, ISBN 84-87334-22-9
  • "National Audubon Society" The Sibley Guide to Birds, by David Allen Sibley, ISBN 0-679-45122-6

External links[edit]