Birds in the garden (5): White-tipped dove

White-tipped dove with chick.

Pigeons and doves often do not get the attention they deserve by birdwatchers as they are considered to be common and not very interesting. A serious misconception as this beauty illustrates perfectly.

ENGLISH: White-tipped Dove
DUTCH: Verraux’ Duif
SCIENTIFIC: (𝘓𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘢 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘹𝘪)

A pigeon which can most often be seen walking through the garden or the mondi, is the Ala duru or White-tipped Dove. The pigeons, which can grow to about 29 centimeters in length, ‘stroll’ at ease along their route, occasionally pausing to pick up food, in the form of seeds and other edible vegetable components, sometimes including pieces of fruit . Those who have these birds in the garden and study them every day will soon discover that the animals have a fixed walking route, which they follow both in the morning and in the afternoon.

In comparison to the other pigeons on our island, the Ala duru is fairly light in color. Striking are the red legs and black beak and the yellow eyes with a blue eye ring around it. In addition, they also have white on the tail tips. These pigeons can be identified in the air by the flapping of their wings, because they are clearly audible, hence the name Ala duru (hard wings). Another behavior they often exhibit is a little twitching of the tail and head back and forth. The nest of these birds consists of nothing but a few twigs that are haphazardly placed on a tree branch and where 2 eggs are usually laid. The Ala duru breeds on Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao.

On the picture a female with her chick. Photographed on March 31 2020 in the garden.

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