Meet your neighbors: who cooks for who?

By Rick LoBello, Board Member

Spring is in the air and here in El Paso one of our most vocal resident birds is busy preparing for the breeding season. If you don’t see them when you wake up in the morning you can certainly hear them and this beautiful bird has a very distinctive song. The Cornell Lab describes the male White-winged Dove song as a series of about nine scratchy, hooting coos that alternate between a few slurred pitches, lasting 5–6 seconds; the final coo is often longer than the rest. If you listen carefully the rhythm of the coos with just a little imagination sounds just like he is saying “who cooks for who.”

The White-winged Doves at my house love to sing near my chimney so almost every morning the cooing sounds they make echo into my home. They nest almost everywhere they can find a protected spot including the branches of palm trees.

Not everyone in the country lives with White-winged Doves like we do because they range mainly in the Southwest US and Mexico.

Range of the White-winged Dove. Cornel Lab, All About Birds

White-winged Doves love all kinds of seeds so if you have a bird feeder expect them to spend lots of time in your backyard. Chances are other local species of doves will join them including native Mourning Doves, Inca Doves and a new species that is moving into El Paso, the European Collared Dove. The Collared Dove is a pest species that originated from Europe and Asia. Unfortunately it carries the diseases Trichomonas gallinae and Pigeon Paramyxovirus. These can be passed onto other species causing birds respiratory problems that can lead to death in indigenous birds.


Cover – Mark Yokoyama, Wikimedia Creative Commons
Top – Doug Greenberg, Wikimedia Creative Commons
Middle-Tony Cyphert, Wikimedia Creative Commons
Bottom-Skip Russell, Wikimedia Creative Commons

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