“OL’ BLUE EYES”: WHITE-WINGED DOVES ON ABACO


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“OL’ BLUE EYES”: WHITE-WINGED DOVES ON ABACO

The White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica  is an easily recognised dove species, being the only one on Abaco with conspicuous white wing markings. The prominent blue eye-rings are another unusual feature of this bird. The blue is skin and not feather colouring. Another identifier is the dark line on the upper neck.

Although the birds are permanent residents on Abaco, they are relatively uncommon. They are not a protected species, and yet unlike some other pigeon and dove species (Mourning Dove, Ring Necked Dove, White-crowned Pigeon, Zenaida Dove) they are not listed among the game birds that have a shooting season. Unlike many species whose range is decreasing for all the usual human-related reasons, this bird appears to be expanding its range – or is possibly being introduced in new areas. Urban development seems not to be not such a deterrent as for other birds, and feeders are also thought to contribute to the spread.

White-winged Dove Range - Xeno Canto

White-winged Dove, Abaco Bahamas - Tom Sheley crop - Version 2

This short audio clip of a White-winged Dove has other background bird sounds, mostly identifiably a red-winged blackbird making its ‘rusty gate hinge’ call

Mike Nelson / Xeno Canto

White-winged Dove, Abaco - Tony Hepburn

FANCY THAT!

STEVIE NICKS name-checks the White-winged Dove and its call in her 1981 hit “Edge of Seventeen” from her Bella Donna album. If your interest is piqued as the Mac again discuss putting behind them their various differences and prodigious substance sampling to re-form (Glastonbury 2015?), see below. However, rehearing this again (having hidden Bella Donna in a locked drawer 30 years ago) the music has not worn well and her voice – sometimes so exciting – is somewhat fingernails on blackboard. 

This final image is by Dan Pancamo who generously uploaded it to Wiki. It is several cuts above the usual generic illustrative images in both quality and style.

White-winged_Dove_by_Dan_Pancamo

Credits: Wiki / Dan Pancamo, Tom Sheley, Tony Hepburn, Xeno Canto

4 thoughts on ““OL’ BLUE EYES”: WHITE-WINGED DOVES ON ABACO

    • Well, I do insert quite a lot of musical digressions in my posts (Mrs RH disapproves) but then, blogs aren’t meant to be taken too solemnly all the time. On the reunion the best news is that Christine McVie may be emerging from the deep shadows at last – the best voice of them all, even during the early years (and Chicken Shack before that).

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  1. This beautiful bird lives in the southern U.S. as well, but is one I have never seen. Thanks for the info, and extraordinary photos, RH — you’ve inspired me to add this beauty to my list of birds to see. Also had a chuckle at the Fleetwood Mac tangent. 🙂

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    • They are indeed very pretty, but fairly unusual on Abaco too. I’ve cropped the main image now so that it stands out more from the foliage. It’s encouraging that at least a few bird species are not being adversely affected by human stuff – people, concrete, noise, SUVs on the beach nesting sites, light pollution etc. Oops, you’ve set me off again! RH

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