Date: 10/28/19 6:32 am
From: bill fontenot <natrldlite...>
Subject: [LABIRD-L] common ground doves
on 27 October Paul Conover wrote:

“Two Common Ground Doves feeding in the road miles apart on Freshwater City Road (a highway through the marsh) seemed like they might have found themselves in a place they'll want to leave soon.”

On the same day, at 10:20am I flushed 3 Common Ground Doves off of Wilderness Trail Rd (a hard-surfaced road[!]; northeastern Lafayette parish) whilst making a BBQ run.....this was my first encounter of common ground dove ON a hard-surfaced road.

The location was immediately between Bayou Vermilion and an extensive mowed area associated with Wilderness Campground. Like Paul, i believe these birds were on the move.

Interestingly, we hosted 3-4 Common Ground Doves each of the first 6 or so winters after moving here (1.5mi north of Wilderness Campground, as the dove flies) in 1982. Back then, our home-made half-mile gravel access road off of Wilderness Trail traversed a freshly abandoned cattle pasture which was fast filling with big patches of blackberry, ragweed, goldenrod, etc. Daily, the doves worked the edges of the road (fallen grass/weed seed?), when flushed, they’d flit to the nearest openings amidst the briars and weeds.

In my birding experience, 99% of my common ground dove encounters have come in winter, on/off gravel/dirt roads traversing harvested croplands.

Btw, today all of that half mile stretch of access toad is lined in grown - up bottomland hardwood forest. No more ground doves....

Bill Fontenot
Lower Prairie Basse
N Lafayette parish LA
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