White-Tipped Dove

Leptotila verreauxi
Range Map

In the USA, the White-Tipped Dove appears only in south Texas, but it is the most numerous dove in the Americas. Outside of southern Texas, these birds range south through the eastern and western coastal slopes of Mexico, Central America and much of South America. These birds spend a lot of their time wandering over the ground through dense undergrowth, foraging on seeds, fruits, and insects.

Today, science recognises 12 subspecies of White-Tipped Dove:

  • L. v. verreauxi lives from Nicaragua to Venezuela.
  • L. v. angelica lives from southern Texas to coastal Mexico.
  • L. v. decolor lives from Colombia to Peru.
  • L. v. brasiliensis lives in northern South America and the northern Amazon basin.
  • L. v. decipiens lives in central South America.
  • L. v. capitalis lives on Islas Marías, Sinaloa (Mexico).
  • L. v. fulviventris lives in southeastern Mexico, from the Yucatan Peninsula, south to the Atlantic slope of Belize and Guatemala.
  • L. v. nuttingi lives on the Pacific coast of Guatemala south to western Honduras and Nicaragua.
  • L. v. hernandezi lives in Colombia’s Amazon basin.
  • L. v. tobagensis lives on Tobago.
  • L. v. approximans lives in eastern Brazil.
  • L. v. chalcauchenia lives in southern Brazil, south through Uruguay and northeastern Argentina.

While visiting Texas in the spring of 2020, Laguna Atascosa provided my first meetings with White-Tipped Doves. Before I laid eyes on them, I heard their strange moaning calls. Not being familiar with this species, it took me a while to link the sounds to these doves. During my second trip to Texas in the winter and spring of 2021, I found them at several other locations in south Texas. By now, their calls were familiar to me.

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