Monday, April 18, 2016

Early birds

Each morning in Mazatlan, I was wakened by white-winged doves, calling out their version of the rooster's crow, "Koo-koo-roo-koo-koo-o*," a peaceful sound, but persistent, repeated at short intervals all morning, a background to my morning chores and the walk into town for breakfast. "Koo-koo-roo-koo-koo-o!"

Later in the day, the song changed; now their voices sounded more like common city pigeons with sore throats. Listen to them here: the second and third recordings.

The doves were ubiquitous, hanging out in trees, on wires, on roofs, pecking at things on the ground, and even occasionally on the beach. Tame enough, but they were quick to fly away if I approached too closely.

White-winged dove, Zenaida asiatica.

White-winged Doves are brown overall, with a dark line on the cheek. A white stripe at the edge of the folded wing becomes, as the bird takes flight, a bright flash in the middle of a dark wing. The tail is tipped in white and set off with black stripes from the gray underside. Their faces are ornately marked with a black streak on the cheek, and blue skin around the red eyes. (Cornell)

The white wing patches are conspicuous in flight, but I was rarely able to aim the camera before the dove settled and the wings folded down again.

Caught on the hop

Distant photo, pocket camera. The blue eye-shadow shows up clearly here.

A courting couple, showing off the white-tipped tail feathers.

*Someone at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology hears the call as, "whoo-OOO-oo, ooo-oo".  This could be a matter of different ears, or an example of regional dialects in bird languages.

1 comment:

  1. Nice shots. No doves around here, but I have been hearing a large owl every night. - Margy


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