Saturday, August 05, 2006

More about Inca Doves

In mid-May we saw Inca Doves (Columbina Inca) in our patio for the first time (Backyard Visitors - Inca Dove). Two or three pairs now come in to feed on a regular basis. They hold their own very well with the larger White-winged and Mourning Doves that scramble for seed. They are sweet little birds with an interesting scaly-looking appearance produced by dark brown feather edging.If you click on the photo above to enlarge it, you can get a glimpse of rusty red under the dove's wing. When the doves fly, or if they're hassled, as in the photo below, they throw up their wings and you see a flash of this brilliant colour. I photographed these doves from about seventy feet away because I didn't want to frighten them. The area where they're foraging is in the shade of a tree and it's difficult to focus on, but I wanted to try to capture the rufous wings of the Inca Dove. The dove in the foreground is a White-winged Dove. The other two doves are Mourning Doves.


Cathy said...

You inadverently answered a decades long puzzle for me. There was a early fall ground blizzard when I lived at the MO farm. Hundreds of migrating doves came in, sheltered between the outbuildings for several days and fed on the sunflower seeds I fed them out of the wind. Among the doves (mourning) was a small dove. I was afraid it was someone's pet that got loose. Now I know it was an Inca dove. After the storm ended, the doves went on their way.

robin andrea said...

That Inca Dove is so beautiful. How interesting that their feathers always have that "scaly-looking" appearance. Really nice that they have adopted your patio.

Endment said...

I love the Inca Doves - they are one of the things I miss most about the southwest - along with the spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
You and your camera seem to be becoming one :)

LauraHinNJ said...

They do look very scaly!

That last pic reminds me of the shorebirds I see here on the beach - flashing their *armpits* in display - beautiful ruffous color!

Mary said...

I do love seeing and reading bout your birds.

Pam in Tucson said...

cathy - Glad I helped you solve your puzzle :) There is a similar bird, the Common Ground Dove. The site maps for both the Ground Dove and the Inca Dove in All About Birds show very southern ranges. I wonder how your little dove arrived in MO?

ra - We were delighted that they've decided to stay around. I guess they like what we're providing. I listed the Inca Dove in my "Most Beautiful Birds" meme.

endment - I'm trying to distinguish between obsession, passion and addiction. I seem to grab the camera at every opportunity. My husband happily believes it's passion :) I can never get good sunset or sunrise photos, since we live in the middle of a suburb with overhead power lines. I need to stop being so lazy and hop in the car - get out to the "wide open spaces" and get those photos.

laurahinnj - I was completely captured with the "armpit flashes". Birds have wonderful secret surprises for us.

mary - I'm glad you visit and like our birds. I miss the little English birds - esp. wrens, robins and chaffinches. Has your heat wave abated?