The White-winged Dove, a captivating bird species, might ring a bell for fans of Stevie Nicks's iconic 1981 song, "Edge of Seventeen" A memorable part of the song features backup singers echoing "ooohh baby ooohh," a call that strikingly resembles the distinct coo of the White-winged Dove.
Native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, the White-winged Dove has recently expanded its range further east into Texas and beyond, partly due to urbanization and the popularity of backyard bird feeding. This expansion showcases the species' remarkable adaptability.
These doves thrive in desert environments, demonstrating incredible resilience. Capable of flying up to 25 miles to find water, they can also obtain necessary moisture from the saguaro cactus, which serves as a vital source of nourishment. Their diet includes nectar, pollen, fruit, and seeds of the saguaro cactus, aligning their migration and nesting patterns with the cactus's fruiting season.
In addition to their adaptability, White-winged Doves are known for their impressive migratory behavior, often traveling in vast groups. Historically, flocks numbering up to one million birds have been observed feeding in Texan grass fields—a truly spectacular sight! Oooh baby, that is a lot of birds!