Date: 5/12/18 6:16 pm From: William Freedberg <4mrfish...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Strange dove (likely WWDO), Cambridge
I had unsatisfying but nearly definitive looks at an unusual dove at Mt. Auburn St. between Ash and Hilliard St. in Cambridge at 2:40pm today (3/12).
I first saw the bird from directly underneath as it flew on shallow, stiff wingbeats, and wings that seemed broader, rounder, and shorter when compared seconds later with an overhead Rock Pigeon. The dove's tail was broad and round. It landed behind tree cover on a distant rooftop, and walked across the roof into view. Perched in poor light, it appeared uniformly tawny, except for conspicuous white crescents at the lower edge of each wing (when perched). It seemed massive, large-headed, and long-billed compared to adjacent Mourning Doves. When the bird crossed the roof, I split my (lunch) party up. The bird was relocated on Hilliard Place by Fiona Kurylowicz, a casual but reliable birder, who confirmed "a big brown dove with white stripes in the wings."
White secondary coverts aside, I believe that the shape, flight pattern, and gestalt of the bird unequivocally rule out a color morph of Rock Pigeon or a MODO. That said, I welcome any suggestions. If you are in Cambridge tomorrow, please keep your eyes up!
Good birding, Will Freedberg Belmont, MA <4mrfish...>