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A photo of a White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi)
White-tipped Dove

White-tipped Dove

Leptotila verreauxi

The White-tipped Dove, Leptotila verreauxi, is a large New World tropical dove, named in honor of the French naturalists Jules and Edouard Verreauxi. This species is approximately 28 cm (11 in) in length and weighs around 155 g (5.5 oz). It exhibits a grey tinge from the crown to the nape, a pale grey or whitish forehead, and a whitish throat. The eye-ring is typically red but can be blue in the Amazon and northern South America. The upperparts and wings are grey-brown, while the underparts are whitish, shading to pinkish, dull grey, or buff on the chest. The underwing coverts are rufous, and the tail is broadly tipped with white, which is most visible from below or in flight. The bill is black, the legs are red, and the iris is yellow.

Identification Tips

To identify the White-tipped Dove, look for the white tipping on the tail, which is a distinctive feature. The red or blue eye-ring, depending on the region, and the contrast between the grey forehead and the hindcrown are also key identification markers. The bird's size and coloration, with its grey-brown upperparts and lighter underparts, help distinguish it from other doves.

Habitat

The White-tipped Dove inhabits a range of woodland habitats, including scrub, woodland, and forest. It is often found in areas with dense understory and near water sources.

Distribution

This dove is a resident breeder from southernmost Texas in the United States through Mexico and Central America, extending south to western Peru and central Argentina. It is also present on offshore islands of northern South America, including Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands Antilles.

Behaviour

The White-tipped Dove is typically seen alone or in pairs and is known for its wariness. It does not migrate but remains within its territory. Its flight is characterized by fast and direct movement with regular beats and the clattering of wings common to pigeons.

Song & Calls

The call of the White-tipped Dove is a deep and resonant "ooo-wooooo," which can be heard echoing through its woodland habitat.

Breeding

This species constructs a large stick nest in a tree, often near ground level, and lays two white eggs. The incubation period is about 14 days, with fledging occurring approximately 15 days later.

Diet and Feeding

The White-tipped Dove primarily feeds on seeds, which it forages for on the ground. It also consumes insects, including butterflies and moths.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List has classified the White-tipped Dove as Least Concern, indicating that it is not currently at significant risk of widespread decline.

Similar Species

The Grey-fronted Dove (Leptotila rufaxilla) is closely related and similar in appearance but prefers more humid forest habitats. The White-tipped Dove can be distinguished by its greyer forehead and crown, and in areas of overlap, the eye-ring color can be a distinguishing feature, although it is not always reliable.

White-tipped Dove Sounds

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