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Category: Live from the Ranch

 White-winged Doves at Zapata

A pair of White-winged Doves appeared at the feeders during the last two weeks of June. This was a species I hadn’t encountered before, owing to the fact I have never birded the lower southern States and haven’t been birding in Colorado too long! Traditionally these birds had a range restricted to only the southern states of the US but over the last decade or so have been successfully colonizing new territory to the north. In fact not long ago they were considered a state rarity in Colorado. Most populations of White-winged Doves are migratory wintering in Mexico and Central America.
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.
I later saw a third bird behind Safeway in Alamosa, so I’m guessing they are well on the way to colonizing this part of Colorado too.

Posted by Bird D. on 07/02/2013
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