I love photography, and I love birds. Taking photographs of birds was a natural progression for me. It has become somewhat of a hobby, even though I don’t dedicate enough time to it. Most of my pictures are taken on days when I happen to have my camera with me, or I happen to see a bird, and I can take a photograph with my phone.
Birding is fun and educational. Observing animals in their natural habitat is a peaceful and rewarding experience that I can relive over and over again through the photographs/videos.
The Zenaida dove (Zenaida aurita) is a member of the bird family Columbidae, which includes doves and pigeons. It is the national bird of Anguilla, where it is commonly (but erroneously) referred to as a turtle dove. It lays two white eggs on a flimsy platform built on a tree or shrub. It also nests in rock crevices and on grassy vegetation if no predators are present. It has been recorded that some birds have up to 4 broods per year. Eggs take approximately two weeks to hatch, and the young chicks typically fledge after only two weeks in the nest. Parents feed the young pigeon’s milk, a nutrient rich substance regurgitated from its crop. [Wikipedia]
The bird is resident and abundant over much of its range. Zenaida Doves are commonly hunted as a game bird. The Zenaida Dove is approximately 28–30 cm (11–12 in) in length. It looks very similar to the Mourning Dove, but is smaller in size, has a shorter, more rounded tail, and is a bit more darkly colored. It is also distinguished from the Mourning Dove by showing white on the trailing edge of its wings while in flight. The Mourning Dove does not have the white trailing edge. [Wikipedia]
The White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) is a dove whose native range extends from the south-western United States through Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. In recent years with increasing urbanization and backyard feeding, it has expanded throughout Texas, into Oklahoma, Louisiana and coastal Mississippi. 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. The dove’s range has even expanded drastically northward into Canada. While the dove was introduced to Alberta, it still remains a common spring and summer visitor in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. [Wikipedia]
Originally a bird of desert thickets, the White-winged Dove has become a common sight in cities and towns across the southern U.S. When perched, this bird’s unspotted brown upper parts and neat white crescents along the wing distinguish it from the ubiquitous Mourning Dove. In flight, those subdued crescents become flashing white stripes worthy of the bird’s common name. Take a closer look and you’ll see a remarkably colorful face, with bright-orange eyes and blue “eye shadow.” [All About Birds]
The White-Crowned Pigeon (Patagioenas leucocephala, formerly Columba leucocephala) is a species of bird in the family Columbidae (doves and pigeons). It inhabits the northern and central Caribbean islands and some places on the North and Central American mainland.
The White-Crowned Pigeon can measure 29–35 cm (11–14 in) in length, span 48–59 cm (19–23 in) across the wings, and weigh 150–301 g (5.3–10.6 oz). It is around the same size as the common Rock Pigeon, but weighs a bit less since it is generally less chunky and has a relatively longer tail. The adult is dark grey, with green and white bars on the nape, a brilliant white crown to the head, a white iris, and a pale-tipped red bill. Juveniles are a less dark shade of grey, lack the nape pattern and white iris, and show only a few pale feathers on the crown. The song is a series of mourning dove-like woo pop woooo calls; this species is a member of a diverse clade of Patagioenas which vary much in appearance, but are united by their triple coos (except in the scaled pigeon). [Wikipedia]
The Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is the only mockingbird commonly found in North America. This bird is mainly a permanent resident, but northern birds may move south during harsh weather. This species has rarely been observed in Europe. The northern mockingbird is known for its mimicking ability, as reflected by the meaning of its scientific name, ‘many-tongued mimic.’ The Northern Mockingbird has gray to brown upper feathers and a paler belly. Its tail and wings have white patches which are visible in flight.
The Northern Mockingbird is an omnivore. It eats both insects and fruits. It is often found in open areas and forest edges but forages in grassy land. The Northern Mockingbird breeds in southeastern Canada, the United States, northern Mexico, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and the Greater Antilles. It is replaced further south by its closest living relative, the Tropical Mockingbird.
The Northern Mockingbird is known for its intelligence and has also been noted in North American culture. A 2009 study showed that the bird was able to recognize individual humans, particularly noting those who had previously been intruders or threats. Also birds recognize their breeding spots and return to areas in which they had greatest success in previous years. Urban birds are more likely to demonstrate this behavior. [Wikipedia]
Common Ground Doves and Northern Mockingbirds
The Common Ground Dove (Columbina passerina) or Micro Dove is a small bird that inhabits the southern United States, parts of Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. The Common Ground Dove is considered to be the smallest dove that inhabits the United States. As its name suggests, the bird spends the majority of its time on the ground walking but still has the ability to fly. [Wikipedia]
A dove the size of a sparrow, the Common Ground-Dove forages in dusty open areas, sometimes overshadowed by the grass clumps it is feeding beneath. Its dusty plumage is easy to overlook until the bird springs into flight with a soft rattling of feathers and a flash of reddish-brown in the wings. [All About Birds]