Monday, September 26, 2011

Inca Dove

Inca Dove photo courtesy of Clinton and Charles Robertson.

Overall, the yard at our new house isn't very birdy--there isn't much in the way of understory right now. However, one of the nice surprises has been the pair of Inca dove that appear in my yard regularly. I usually don't see them, just hear the distinctive sound of their wings as they take off when I come out of the house. This morning though as I was sipping my tea on the back porch, I was able to watch the doves during the breakfast feeding frenzy at the feeder. The Inca's seem to come in before and after the masses of white-winged dove.

We in Wichita Falls, TX are just about as far north as the dove occurs--they are very sensitive to cold weather. Although the doves don't seem as common here as they used to be (purely anecdotal), they are expanding their range, according to Birds of North America Online. They seem to prefer to live around people. The species account in BNA (available only with a subscription) tells a lot of interesting facts about these doves. I was aware of their pyramid roosting to combat cold, but I did not know their metabolic rate is about 20% less than most passerines, which seems to help them cope with the hot environments in which they live and would indicate why they might be more sensitive to cold.

Such a sweet little dove--I hope you are able to enjoy them in your yard too.

Good birding!

No comments: