White-Winged Dove

White-Winged Dove Zenaida asiatica

Type of Animal:

Woodland, desert, desert scrub, mesquites, saguaros, groves, towns, brushland, chaparral, farmland, suburbs, cultivated areas, agricultural areas, agricultural fields, rural areas, tree plantings in grassland, desert thickets, cities, thorn forest/woodland, semiarid thornscrub, grain fields, residential areas, scrub, riparian areas, semiarid savanna, ebony-mesquite prickly pear habitat, scrub forest, forest, found from sea level to 5,500 ft

Florida, far S Alabama, far S Mississippi, extreme SW Georgia, S & extreme NW Louisiana, extreme SW Arkansas, Texas, S parts of Oklahoma, extreme SW Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, far S Nevada, S California, far SW Utah, extreme SE Colorado, Mexico, C America down to W Panama (absent from much of E coast of C America except for Belize), Bahamas, Caribbean Islands. Rarely seen N as far as Canada & Alaska. Range expanding northward since 1980s.

Plump medium-sized birds, brownish-gray above, gray below, white wing patch appears as white crescent in flight, adults have blue featherless skin patches around eyes, long dark marks on lower face, blue eye ring, legs/feet brighter pink/red

Seeds, fruit, berries, nectar, grains, pollen, acorns, leaves, snails, bone fragments, small stones

Status in Wild:

Have been increasing-population now numbering around 8 million. Texas required hunters in 1971 to buy hunting stamps, selling 1.4 million stamps, generating $8.4 million for dove conservation for 1st 30 years.

Flocks of 50-4,000 birds, flocks of a million have been seen. Breed colonially, ranging from 10-1,000 monogamous pairs. Some pairs breed singly.

Additional Info:

Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Squab
Group: Flock

Male: 6.6 oz
Female: 4.4 oz
Young: 1 oz

2 weeks 

Life Span:
10-15 years

Male: 12.5 in
Female: 11 in

Body Length:
Male: 12.5 in
Female: 11 in

Tail Length:
1.5 in, same for both sexes

Main predators of adults are raptors, felids, canids, procyonids, opossums, black rats, brown rats, snakes, & corvids. Grackles, cactus wrens, roadrunners, gila woodpeckers, woodrats, deer mice, & ants prey on young.
Important pollinators & seed dispersal agents.
Males perform courtship flights, spiraling into sky & returning to branch he started from in stiff-winged glide. Males also bow/puff necks up/fan tails to attract females/maintain bonds. Males also coo.
Pairs can have 2-3 broods per year (w/ 1-4 squabs each).
Some populations stay year round while others are migratory.

Fun Fact(s):
Can fly more than 25 miles to find water.
Like other doves/pigeons, they use secretion from esophagus (crop milk) to feed squabs.
Like other doves/pigeons but unlike most birds, they can suck/swallow water w/o moving heads.
When predators approach nest, a parent will do broken wing display to lead it away.
Stevie Nicks 1981/1982 song “Edge of Seventeen” alludes to these birds.
White-Winged Dove, stock photo

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