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More on White-winged Doves

My recent post about White-winged Doves generated some excellent feedback.  The feedback included a few additional White-winged Dove reports.  It became apparent, however, there is some uncertainty regarding whether some doves people are observing are indeed White-winged Doves or something else.  The something else seems to typically be Eurasian Collared-Doves, which is a non-native species that arrived in the state in 1997 and rapidly increased and expanded its range.  Eurasian Collared-Doves are now common and even abundant in many areas of Nebraska.  As I stated, White-winged Doves are still quite rare in Nebraska.  I did receive several very nice photos of a White-winged Dove that visited Mike Darbro’s residence in Central City.  Not only does this blog provide the opportunity to share Mike’s handy work, but also an opportunity to show differences between White-winged Doves and Eurasian Collared-Doves.

White-winged Dove
White-winged Dove at Mike Darbro’s feeder in Central City. Photo by Mike Darbro.
White-winged Dove
Another photo of Mike Darbro’s White-winged Dove with key field marks pointed out. Photo by Mike Darbro.
Eurasian Collared-Dove
A Eurasian Collared-Dove in Loup City 26 July 2014.  Note that Eurasian Collared-Doves lack the blue facial skin around the eye and the prominent white patch on the leading edge of the folded wing.  The narrow black crescent on the nape is a key field mark.
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Eurasian Collared-Dove photographed near Waverly 1 September 2013. A few Eurasian Collared-Doves are very pale and appear whitish.  Even though the black nape crescent is not as bold as on the Eurasian Collared-Dove in preceding photo, it is still evident.
juvenile Mourning Dove
Mourning Doves are still the most common and widespread dove species in the state.  This juvenile was in my backyard in Lincoln 2 July 2010.

Hopefully the information provided here familiarizes you with Nebraska’s dove species.  Additional resources that will inform bird identification can be found all over the internet.  For example, profiles about Eurasian Collared-Dove can be found here and here.  Profiles about White-winged Dove can be found here and here.  Next time you see a dove, take a few moments and try to identify it to species by noting key field marks.  As stated in my earlier post on the topic, if you identify a White-winged Dove in Nebraska, drop me a line at (joel.jorgensen@nebraska.gov).

Many thanks to Mike Darbro for permission to share his photos.

Good birding!

Nongame Bird Blog

About Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. When not working, he enjoys birding.

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