Saturday, February 6, 2010

Inca Dove Question

The other day Bob, from Wild Bird Rescue asked me if Inca Doves migrate. I told him I didn't think they did, as I see them here in the winter regularly. However, the two that normally feed at my feeders haven't been seen in several weeks. Bob said the flock of a dozen he has a Wild Bird Rescue routinely has been down to two or three.

When I am not sure about a bird question, I go to my trusty "Birds of North America Online," a subscription service from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They have a free resource I frequently link to in this blog (All About Birds) but the BNA has a lot more information. Anyway, there is no indication in the literature about Inca Doves migrating, in fact, BNA indicates the doves tend to stay put year around. However, there is prominent discussion of cold sensitivity in Inca Doves. We are on the northern edge of the Inca Dove range, and it has been unusually cold for longer stretches than normal this winter. Perhaps our doves have been casualties of the weather. I would hate that to happen--these diminutive dove are not that common now.

I did find some interesting information about the Inca Dove on BNA. Doves are among the first and last babies we receive at Wild Bird Rescue--the Inca dove rears up to 5 clutches a season of 2 babies each. However, BNA also notes many broods are lost to storms, wind and rain. If you have ever seen a dove's nest, that's easy to believe.

A subscription to Birds of North America Online is $40 a year; $25 if you are a member of the Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) also.

Good Birding!


Traveler Literary Gnome said...

I'm glad to know more about the Inca dove. I wasn't sure if they migrated or not because I've always had a couple hanging around during the winter. They are still here, so that is some good news I can pass along.

Penny Miller said...

I am glad to hear it. They are such pretty little birds; I look forward to seeing them.