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White-winged Dove


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Originally a bird of desert thickets, the White-winged Dove has become a common sight in cities and towns across the southern U.S. When perched, this bird’s unspotted brown upperparts and neat white crescents along the wing distinguish it from the ubiquitous Mourning Dove. In flight, those subdued crescents become flashing white stripes worthy of the bird’s common name. Take a closer look and you’ll see a remarkably colorful face, with bright-orange eyes and blue “eye shadow.”


Males make 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. They call from a high perch in an open area. Females make a shorter, softer, more slurred call. Both males and females will give a short call from the nest when they hear other White-winged Doves nearby.

Other Sounds

Territorial males make a clapping sound by striking the backs of their wings together during display flights. Nesting adults slap their wings to ward off intruders. Upon taking off, White-winged Doves often produce a staccato whir with their wings, and sometimes their wingtips make whistling sounds.

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

Backyard Tips

White-winged Doves often eat at elevated bird feeders. They’re fond of seeds, including sunflower, milo, corn, safflower, and they may also eat berries from shrubs. White-winged Doves sometimes fly into windows when startled, so it’s important to make sure your windows are bird-safe.

Find This Bird

Look for White-winged Doves near urban areas, including in cities, in the southern U.S. They forage on the ground in small groups, perch on bird feeders, or nest in big shade trees. They’re a delicate tan when perched, but in flight they become quite striking, with long white wing stripes setting off dark outer wings. In the forests and cactus deserts of the Southwest, they’re often found near water in the morning and afternoon.



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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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