Friday, April 11, 2014

Inca Doves, White-Winged Doves and Curve-Billed Thrasher

Inca Dove in Marble Falls, Texas. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

Sometimes on this blog I explore one animal in depth, and sometimes I gaze at a variety of pictures. Today I saw a pair of grey Inca Doves that brought back a memory, so today is for picture-gazing.

It was one of the most beautiful doves I've ever seen. I watched as it flew over my head and landed in a nearby tree, then I slowly crept beneath the tree to get a closer look. It was a deep reddish-brown, my favorite color, and the light from the setting sun made it shimmer. I stood and stared for at least ten minutes before I realize my camera was in the house! By the time I found my camera the bird had moved and was ready to leave. I had time for one quick shot and spent the next three years trying to identify this great beauty--an Inca Dove. 

Inca Doves

Inca Doves are lovely, whether they are their common grey or the more exotic chocolate brown like the one I saw in my backyard. They have a wide range, from the American Southwest to Mexico, Central American and Costa Rica. 



They have a rather long tail for a dove, and their tails are edged with white feathers that appear to flair when in flight. Their underwings are always a bit reddish. They like open areas, but will live in suburban areas. I see them often in pairs here in New Mexico following each other around our neighborhood. When they take off, their wings make a very distinctive rattling sound. They build their nests in trees and shrubs and the male is the homemaker.

White-Winged Doves

White-Winged Dove in Marble Falls, Texas. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman. 

The doves we see most often in New Mexico and Texas are white-winged doves. It is legal to hunt white-winged doves in Texas so our property was always filled with doves seeking shelter during hunting season. 

White-Winged Dove in Marble Falls, Texas. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the white-winged dove is, of course, the bold white wing patch that is most visible in flight, but appears to be a lining on the wing when the bird is at rest.

White-Winged Dove. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

White-winged doves also appear to wear blue eyeshadow around their orange eyes, which is really quite lovely. They tend to have a spot of yellow beneath the black slash on their cheek and their legs and feet are shocking pink! 


White-Winged Dove in Marble Falls, Texas. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman. 

White-Winged Dove. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

White-Winged Doves congregating in my backyard in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

White-Winged Dove in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I love the sounds they make as they call to each other. I have a pair of Curve-Billed Thrashers that live in my backyard who imitate the sounds of other birds and sometimes sound like doves. 
Mrs. Thrasher likes to wait for the sparrows and finches to go to bed at night, then I give her a little extra seed and we stand and stare at each other for awhile in the light of the setting sun. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Curve-Billed Thrashers are in the Catbird family and can mimic the sounds of other birds. They are about the size of a robin and socialize well with other species of birds. 

In the A to Z Bloggers Challenge I is for Inca Dove.




4 comments:

Maria Dunn said...

Those white winged doves are are really strikingly beautiful. As I viewed each snapshot and noticed the details that you described, they became even more beautiful. I especially like the photo that looks like they are dancing together. Enjoy. Maria from Delight Directed Living

Maria Dunn said...

Those white winged doves are are really strikingly beautiful. As I viewed each snapshot and noticed the details that you described, they became even more beautiful. I especially like the photo that looks like they are dancing together. Enjoy. Maria from Delight Directed Living

Darla Sue Dollman said...

I am amazed by the number and variety of doves in New Mexico and Texas. Having lived in Colorado most of my life I had no idea! I am very fond of them, though.

CYNTHIA KONKLE said...

I also have two videos of us playing with the bird that I could email to you if you could provide me with an email address.Inca Dove

I am vacationing in Port Aransas,TX. I was walking along the Jetty on my right and the UT Maritime Center to my left. In bushes along the way I spotted a small bird in the bush. I stopped to observe it. As I stood there for a few minutes, the little bird jumped on my arm and jumped up on my shoulder. She/he was not afraid of me at all. I was with a friend who was over 6 ft tall ( I am 5'4"). The bird played with us by jumping back and forth between us. The bird also jump up on my hat.