Date: 7/7/20 2:16 pm
From: Armstrong, Richard H <richarda...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: White-winged doves displacing Mourning Doves in Houston?
Thanks for this addition to the thread here. I wonder, is the spotty nature of WWDO dominance a factor of their tendency to breed in colonies? Does that suck up the resources and push out MODOs? I could see up close how aggressive breeding WWDOs are when a pair nested in my window box. I have read their adaptability is well observed; might this be because they originally inhabited desert areas?

This whole discussion has proved much more interesting than I expected; thanks to all posters. Richard

On Jul 7, 2020, at 4:01 PM, Steve Gast <dmarc-noreply...><mailto:<dmarc-noreply...>> wrote:

I think the difference between KPC habitat and your ranch is perhaps fairly significant. You have a lot more of huisache and mesquite, where at KPC there are just a few examples of these plants in areas of very small extent.

I did review some of the data in eBird around the western area of KPC in Waller and on one occasion a flock of 50 has been recorded in eBird And several records of numbers between 10 and 20 but few others of any size.

It may be that White-winged Doves in this area are only sporadically in large numbers and with a continuous background presence of well-spaced pairs. Other than to say that MOdO here easily outnumber WWDO It looks like it is a little harder to explain than I might have thought.

And a plug here for KPC and eBirding in West Harris and Waller - please everyone use eBird. It really does help KPC characterize the habitat values that the Conservancy is trying to address.

Steve Gast
Houston TX

On Jul 7, 2020, at 3:34 PM, Harvey Laas (Redacted sender hlaas for DMARC) <dmarc-noreply...><mailto:<dmarc-noreply...>> wrote:

Actually white-winged doves can be the dominant dove on parts of the prairie some summers. Particularly north of FM 529 in central Waller County. However, the last two to three years has seen a big drop in numbers for some reason, possibly the declining acreage devoted to milo and corn. Previously in the areas south of US 290 white-winged numbered in the thousands with huge numbers coming to corn fields once they were harvested. They far out numbered mourning doves. On our place is on the south side of FM 529 west of FM 362 and I have in some years seen really large numbers of WWDO in June and July. In some recent years they would outnumber the MODOs. Then in August around when the corn harvest would start the WWDO would all disappear except for maybe a hand full. MODO numbers build throughout the summer as dove weed seed matures. The past few years WWDO numbers have really dropped in the area. I have not seen one yet this year on the ranch. MODO numbers appear about normal for this time of year. As to the other doves, Incas have basically disappeared on the property in the last ten years. Before that there were always a couple of pair that nested near the house for many years. Now I may see one passing through every other year or so. I still see them in other part of the county. Common ground dove have really increased there are several pair scattered throughout the ranch. A few months ago I had 25 in one location. There seemed to be some newly sprouted plant they liked. Eurasian Collared doves are just passersby on the ranch. I see one are two a year. Rock doves were non-existent until the last two years. Now I see them flying over off and on, most likely due the the number of businesses and houses just to my north.

Harvey Laas

10 miles N of Brookshire

On 07/07/2020 02:13 PM, Joseph Kennedy wrote:

One exception to the lack of doves on the prairie is in the early fall when they flight to tallow trees. They are big eaters and probably spreaders of tallow trees. When I was out there in November last year there were good numbers on sharp road near the creek and the intersection of hebert and pennick. They are very wary out there as there are lots of hawks and hunters compared to the ones that eat the tallows near my house and provide me with my annual peregrines that range down from the office towers to hunt them. Interestingly, the peregrines fly in at about head height and swoop up into the feeding doves whereas the cooper's hawks either drive straight in or come in from a little above the tree. Both do well and the nesting coopers seem to depend on the male calling doves and get them well before sunrise.

On Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 1:13 PM Steve Gast <segast23...><mailto:<segast23...>> wrote:
As an example on the other side of the coin -

Mourning Doves dominate the Katy Prairie Conservancy lands which are open or brushy grasslands, with hedge rows and riparian wooded corridors. White-winged have never been common.

It is still noteworthy even now to find the occasional White-winged dove - maybe a single or a pair in maybe 1 out of 10 visits, but regularly 100 or more Mourning doves are seen daily. Up to 500 or more Mourning Doves can be found in the fall and winter in a day.

To round out the east Texas dove species -
All Resident in KPC lands - with maybe the exception being White-winged.....

Drier areas - maybe only 3 or 4 places in KPC lands - have Common Ground Doves although these are very uncommon to encounter but more frequently encountered than White-winged. These two species are hardest to find in any given day.

Inca Doves are found mainly around the ranch house areas and a Couple other residences in pairs and small family groups. And a few pairs of Eurasian Collared Dove are around human dwellings. And lastly Rock Doves are normally found only around the salt mine facility which is the tallest structure around for miles.

So no displacement going on in West Harris/East Waller county rural areas.

Steve Gast
Houston TX

Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston

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