Wednesday, March 22, 2006

White-winged Dove

White-winged doves frequent our neighbourhood. Their sweet calls float through the morning air. Usually I see them on the power lines. Yesterday morning I spotted this one firmly entrenched on the top of the power pole, a place usually occupied by Gila woodpeckers. It was kind enough to hang around while I went inside for my camera.

The White-winged Dove, Zenaida asiatica, is distinguishable from the Rock Dove and the Mourning Dove by the white line along the front of the wing, the blue skin around its eyes, and the black streak on its cheeks.

(These details are clearly visible in the enlarged photos. Click on the photos to enlarge. )


"The white-winged dove is the largest native dove in Arizona, close to the size of a pigeon. This dove is an important pollinator of the saguaro, and its range in Arizona is similar to that of the saguaro. It eats seeds and fruits, including saguaro fruit. The white-winged dove typically nests in desert thickets, usually of mesquite trees or salt cedar. It is also fairly common in city parks and suburban areas. Most Arizona white-winged doves migrate to Mexico for the winter."

13 comments:

Jean said...

In my village, in France, near of Toulouse, live much of doves, turtle-doves. In fact very soft animals easily let themselves tame.

Dans mon village en France , à coté de Toulouse , vivent beaucoup de colombes , de tourterelles .
Ce sont des animaux très doux , qui se laissent facilement apprivoiser .

Endment said...

They are so beautiful.
The photos and the birds! :)

T. Beth said...

I haven't yet seen any White-winged Doves in my yard this year. They usually arrive in April. Do they winter in your neighborhood?

Pam in Tucson said...

jean - I remember softly cooing turtle-doves from my childhood in England. Unfortunately, they are now on the UK's Red List - meaning they are of the highest conservation concern. You are fortunate to have them in your village.

endment - Thanks. I've never paid much attention to them until I got the camera. I didn't realize how beautiful they are.

t.beth - I'll have to pay attention next year to see if they winter here. [As you know, I'm not a birder, although the camera is forcing my attention in that direction ;)]

chiefbiscuit said...

I continue to be enthralled by your blog and photos - talk about a breath of Arizona. It's funny - we used to have a tv ad when I was about ten years old (forty-odd years ago now!) that said 'Send your sinuses to Arizona' making me wonder and wonder at the time what was so special about this place called Arizona. And where or what here was Arizona anyway? Now I know!

Pam in Tucson said...

chiefbiscuit - We came to Arizona 42 years ago. In those days the air was pure in Tucson and free of all the pollens that caused asthma and other lung diseases. Since that time, I'm afraid the city and environs have many more pollutants. Also, people who came from the east and California brought with them the very things that caused them to be ill in the first place (olive, mulberry, etc.).

TDharma said...

beautiful photos...

Pam in Tucson said...

taradharma -- Thanks ... I had a great model!

Wenda said...

I especially liked the dove in flight. I gasped at the beauty of the bird and of how you captured it in this photos.

Sonia said...

Love all the photos! So beautiful!

Pam in Tucson said...

wenda - Welcome to my blog! I gasped, too, with delight when I saw I'd manage to catch the dove in flight. If you could see the pre-cropped photo, you'd see a lot of tree and sky and a very small image of the dove, just about to fly out of the frame :)

sonia - Thanks. It's mutual admiration - I love your photos, too.

Cindy said...

wonderful flight shot Pam!
My Grandparents subscribed to 'Arizona Highways' for years and I still remember pouring through the scenic photos- I really do miss the desert.
hope you're having a relaxing weekend :)

Pam in Tucson said...

Thanks, Cindy! It was a lucky shot and I'm very happy with it. I'm having a busy weekend, but the mountain of work's gradually getting conquered. Great concert tonight - Dave Brubeck (age 86 but with fingers as agile as ever) with two of his sons: Chris and Dan.