Saturday, October 19, 2019

White-winged Doves in the Cuyamaca Mountains

White-winged Doves are typically found in the desert regions of southern California (as well as in the other southern tier states as far east as Texas).

They are not usually found in the mountains here in southern California, although the San Diego County Bird Atlas (Unitt), describes yearly movements between the desert and the coast, in small numbers, particularly in spring and fall.

Over the past 18 months, I (and at least one of my neighbors) have periodically seen or heard White-winged Doves in the Cuyamaca Woods area here in the Cuyamaca Mountains. It likely has not been the same individual, based on the movements described above. My first observation was near our property on April 1 (yes, April Fool's Day - but it WAS actually seen!). The characteristic vocalization, usually a signature of the desert, was heard very close to my house, and with some effort, the bird was found. It obligingly perched on a tree on a neighboring property, as shown below.
White-winged Dove, Zenaida asiatica, Cuyamaca Mountains, California, April 1, 2018.
I have heard the distinctive vocalizations on and off over the next year-and-a-half, and this morning, while photographing animals from the photography platform on my property, I saw a pair of doves appear, and then move around within view of the platform, first perching in a tall dead tree, then foraging on the ground, then perching on one of the boulders just downslope from our patio.

I was able to capture a few photographs of the pair together, the best two of which are shown below.
Two White-winged Doves on boulder a few feet from our patio. October 19, 2019.

White-winged Doves in dead tree downslope from house. October 19, 2019.

I have been reporting these observations to eBird:

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