Zenaida DoveZenaida aurita

Doug Wechsler/VIREO
Doug Wechsler/VIREO
Zenaida Dove

Description

Very similar in appearance to the closely related and much more common Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura). This species is slightly smaller than a Mourning Dove (11-12”, 28-30 cm). The Zenaida Dove is slightly darker and redder than a Mourning Dove, has a shorter, more rounded tail, and its wings have a white trailing edge in flight, which the Mourning Dove does not. Zenaida Dove lacks gray on nape of neck that Mourning Dove has.

Voice

Very similar to Mourning dove, but faster and with the first note less modulated.

Habitat

A wide variety of lowland habitats, from cultivated fields to shrublands and open woodlands

Range

Caribbean islands from the Bahamas south to Grenada, also Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Vagrant to South Florida and the Keys.

Discussion

Beware the Mourning Dove… Anywhere in our range a vagrant Zenaida Dove might appear, the Mourning Dove is a common year-round resident. The two species are difficult to distinguish, and photos documenting a Zenaida Dove sighting will need to clearly show a distinguishing field mark. Zenaida Doves once bred on the Florida Keys, but are now found only as vagrants there and in southernmost mainland Florida.

Vireo

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