Zenaida asiatica (*)
Zenaida asiatica (Linnaeus, 1758)
Systema Naturae ed.10 p.163
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. 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".
White-winged Doves are large, chunky pigeons at 29 cm. 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, legs, and feet are red.
The sexes are similar, but juveniles are grayer than adults. They have no blue eye ring and their legs and feet are brownish pink.
The cooing calls are who-cooks-for-you and hoo hoo hoo.
Most populations of White-winged Doves are migratory, wintering in Mexico and Central America. The White-winged Dove inhabits scrub, woodlands, desert, and cultivated areas. It builds a flimsy stick nest in a tree and lays two cream-colored to white, unmarked eggs. Its flight is fast and direct, with the regular beats and occasional sharp flick of the wings that are characteristic of pigeons in general.
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. 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.
* BirdLife International (2004). Zenaida asiatica. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 9 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License