Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources
Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources

AnimalsVenomous AnimalsArthropodsFishAmphibiansReptilesBirdsMammals

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Inca Dove (Columbina inca)

inca doveDESCRIPTION: L=8.25" (21cm), smallest of the three doves spotlit here. Sexes similar. Overall grayish with scalloped appearance. In flight, wings are rust-colored (and rusty-sounding). Call sounds like a repeated "no hope."
NATURAL HISTORY: Usually found associated with human habitations, and is one of the most urban birds we have in Tucson. Diet mostly seeds. Breeds almost all year (Jan-Nov). May be very aggressive with each other at food sources (e.g., bird feeders). See Dove Natural History below for more.

 


dove comparison

DOVE NATURAL HISTORY

Doves and pigeons feed their young "crop milk." Crop milk consists of fluid-filled cells that slough off the lining of the crop (a food storage chamber off the esophagus). Young birds will stick their bills into the throats of their parents and suck up the milk. Very few birds can suck; next time you watch birds drinking, notice how most birds have to tilt back their head to allow the water to flow down their throats, whereas doves can just leave their bill in the water and suck up the water. Adult birds also will stick their bill into each other's mouth as part of their courtship ritual (this is called billing -- see above). Doves need to drink water, but they can still survive in the desert because they are such strong, fast fliers that they can fly to sources of water. Note to bird feeders: Our doves are susceptable to trichonomiasis, a fatal disease caused by a parasite passed from dove to dove in their feed/water or during billing. The parasites cause the doves to starve to death as their throats swell with the parasite. You may wish to refrain from feeding bird seed during the warm months when the parasistes can survive longer in the feed/water. Another option is to make sure bird baths are kept very clean and spread bird seed out on the ground.

 


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