White-winged Dove Expands its Range

This is Passport to Texas

Corey Mason is dove program leader at Parks and Wildlife, and says once limited to South Texas, white winged doves are on the move.

You know, we find mourning dove and white-wing dove—both—all the way from Far West Texas in the trans Pecos Region into the Pineywoods of East Texas. And we’ve recently actually this year found new colonies of nesting white wing dove deep in East Texas. Why is that unusual? Historically, white wing dove were found along the lower Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, really associated with South Texas brush, some of the citrus groves in the 80s. But since that time, there’s been a huge range wide expansion of these birds all across the state. White wing dove can basically be found in any county in the state now. What do we attribute this movement of the white wings to? A lot of it can be triggered back to a hard freeze in the eighties.. Kind of lost some of those types of nesting habitat; those birds adjusted and moved from that. So we kind of have two populations of white wings now. We have the historic south Texas—south of San Antonio—populations of white wing doves. And then we have north of that line, a population of white wing dove that are all across the state now, that are really kind of moving these transient movements from one urban population to the next. And from there spreading out and out and out. It’s really occurred over the last ten or fifteen years. And like I said, these birds can nearly be found pretty much anywhere in the state now.

The North and Central Zone dove season opener is Thursday, September 1. The South Zone opener is Friday, September 23.

The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program… supports our series and works to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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