White-Tipped Dove

Leptotila verreauxi

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 recognised 12 subspecies of White-Tipped Dove. The more common ones are:

  • 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

While visiting Texas in the spring of 2020, Laguna Atascosa provided my only 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.

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