White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

River Oaks subdivision, Clarke County, Georgia

33° 54' 36.83" N, 83° 21' 44.19" W

Note the prominent white wing patches, visible as white edges on the front of the wings when the wings are folded. Also, note the red eye surrounded by pale blue (hard to see in these photographs, but I’ve seen it well in binoculars), the dark spot on the side of the neck, and the wide tail in comparison to the pointed tail of the Mourning Dove.

The bird often forages on the ground beneath a bird feeder, feeding on black oil sunflower seeds and some cracked corn with up to half a dozen Mourning Doves. I first saw it around 27 December 2012, and it often comes by once or twice a day. The last sighting was on 16 February 2013, but there have been a few stretches where I have not seen it for a few days. Many birders have come by and they have most often seen it higher in the trees from our house down into the cul-de-sac, two houses away.

The White-winged Dove is resident in Texas and southern Florida, and is a visitor to the Gulf and southeastern Atlantic coasts in the winter. They are quite rare inland. Chandler and Lewis (2001, The Oriole 66:9-15) list 25 records of the White-winged Dove in Georgia, all of which were from the coastal plain. The bird is so rare in Georgia that Beaton (2000; Birding Georgia, Falcon Publishing) did not include it in his status and distribution charts for the state, although he did include it as a review species in the official Georgia state list. The UGA River Basin Center reports inland sightings from Bartow (2006), Coffee (2001), Fannin (2006), Laurens (2006), and Oconee (2004) counties. This report is apparently the first occurrence of the species in Clarke County. Post’s (2010, The Chat 74:97-101) survey of the White-winged Dove in South Carolina reported a similar distribution, with only one non-coastal plain report from South Carolina.

Photographed: 2:50-3:00 PM, 12 January 2013 by Steven M. Holland (stratum@uga.edu)






Photographed: 2:30-2:50 PM, 22 January 2013 by Steven M. Holland (stratum@uga.edu)