The Zenaida Dove (Zenaida aurita) is a small-to-medium-sized dove that is commonly found throughout the Caribbean and parts of Central and South America. Adults typically measure between 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) in length and weigh between 2.2-4.2 ounces (62-119 grams). These doves have a slender build, a small head, and a long, tapered tail.
The Zenaida Dove is characterized by its distinctive reddish-brown plumage, which is darker on the wings and tail. It has a blue-gray face and a white patch on the lower neck. The eyes are encircled by a thin white ring, and the beak is dark with a yellowish base. In flight, the Zenaida Dove reveals a distinctive white stripe on the underside of its wings.
In terms of migration, Zenaida Doves are generally non-migratory, though some populations may make seasonal movements in search of food or breeding opportunities. They are adaptable birds and can be found in a variety of habitats, including open woodlands, savannas, and scrublands. They are also common in urban and suburban areas.
During breeding season, male Zenaida Doves will perform a courtship display, which involves puffing up their feathers and bowing while cooing softly. The female will then select a nesting site, which is usually a platform of twigs located in a tree or shrub. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the young.
Overall, the Zenaida Dove is a common and widespread species that is beloved for its gentle nature and pleasant cooing call. Its distinctive field marks and non-migratory behavior make it a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts throughout its range.