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Zenaida Dove (Zenaida aurita)

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Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Zenaida
Species: aurita

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Neutral rntx22 On Dec 30, 2008, rntx22 from Houston, TX
(Zone 9a) wrote:

From wikipedia:
Breeds throughout the West Indies and the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula. It was reported by Audubon to breed in the Florida Keys, but there are only three verifiable records from Florida.

Approximately 28–30 cm in length.

Looks very similar to the Mourning Dove, but is smaller in size, has a shorter, more rounded tail, and is a bit more darkly colored. It is also distinguished from the Mourning Dove by showing white on the trailing edge of its wings in while in flight. The Mourning Dove does not have the white trailing edge.

This bird is found in a range of open and semi-open habitats. Its mournful cooOOoo-coo-coo-coo call is similar to the call of a Mourning Dove, but faster in pace.

These birds forage on the ground, mainly eating grains and seeds, sometimes also on insects. Zenaida Doves frequently feed close to water. They often swallow fine gravel to assist with digestion, and will also ingest salt from mineral rich soils or livestock salt licks. It is thought the salt aids in egg formation and/or production of pigeon milk.


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