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.
White-winged Doves are large, plump doves at 11 inches. They are brownish-gray above and gray below, with a bold white wing patch that appears as a brilliant white crescent in flight and is also visible at rest. Adults have a patch of blue, featherless skin around each eye and a long, dark mark on the lower face. Their eyes are bright crimson. The sexes are similar, but juveniles are browner than adults. [Wikipedia]
White-winged Dove Facts [All About Birds]
- During the twentieth century, habitat loss and heavy hunting led to a serious drop in White-winged Dove populations in Texas—from as many as 12 million to fewer than 1 million by 1939. But with proactive management of hunting and the species’ ability to adapt to urban living, the population rebounded to some 2.2 million by 2001, and its range is still expanding.
- In the early 1980s, the singer Stevie Nicks introduced millions of Americans to the White-winged Dove with her song “Edge of Seventeen,” which hit #11 on the Billboard charts.
- Like other doves and pigeons, White-winged Doves have some unusual abilities. They can suck and swallow water without moving their heads. And they use a secretion from the esophagus, known as crop milk, to feed nestlings. Both parents may consume snails and bone fragments to help their bodies create the nutritious fluid.
- The oldest White-winged Dove on record was at least 21 years and 9 months old. It was banded in Arizona and later recovered in Mexico.