White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) 12 inches long

The White-winged Dove is currently spreading its range northward in southern Arizona where it is an abundant summer resident, often occuring in small flocks or colonies. These desert birds are able to fly 15 miles for water and eat a variety of seeds, grain and fruits.

White-winged Dove

White-winged Doves are an important pollinator of the saguaro cactus which is the signature plant of Arizona, and they often nest in cacti, mesquites or desert shrubs.

White-winged Dove, you talking to me?

They are very similar in appearance to the more common Mourning Dove, except for a conspicuous white patch on the lower edge of the wing in both male and female. Unlike the Mourning Dove, which is resident in southern Arizona year-round, the White-winged Dove is usually found here only in summer, going south to Mexico for the winter. Their call is often described as sounding like saying "who cooks for you?" Below a dove is shown below feeding on a saguaro while a Gila woodpecker brings a lizard to its mate in their nest.

White-winged Dove and Gila Woodpecker with Saguaro Cactus,
from The Sonoran Desert by Day and Night (listed below)

Barlowe, Dot. The Sonoran Desert by Day and Night: A Dover Coloring Book. New York: Dover Publications Pictorial Archive Series, 2002.

Chambers, Nina et al. Pollinators of the Sonoran Desert: A Field Guide. Tucson: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2004. Good information on the white-winged dove as well as the most common Arizona hummingbirds: Anna's, Black-chinned, Broad-billed, and Rufous. There are also excellent descriptions and photos of Lesser long-nosed bat and Mexican long-tongued bat.