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

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