Birds sharing the same genus like the white-winged dove and the mourning dove have a lot of similarities. For instance, both birds are herbivores; they are ground feeders and produce the same call sound(cooing). However, this doesn’t make them the same birds. As much as they have a lot in common, they also share several dissimilarities. So, what are the differences between a white-winged dove and a mourning bird?
Let’s find out in this article.
Comparing a White-winged Dove and a Mourning Dove
|White Winged Dove||Mourning Dove|
|Taxonomy||Scientific name: Zenaida asiatica||Scientific name: Zenaida macroura|
|Physical Appearance||Length: 12 inches|
Weight: 4.4 and 6.6 ounces
Wingspan: 18.9 and 22.8 inches
Plumage: brownish-gray to gray tone with white feathers at the edge of their wings.
Blue feathers in a ring shape around their eyes and dark feathers like a short streak right beneath their eyes.
|Length: 12 inches|
Weight: 3.4 and 6.0 ounces
Wingspan: 14.6 and 17.7 inches
Plumage: grey-brown with pinkish grey-brown bellies and multiple black spots on their wings.
Dark feathers beneath their eyes, although theirs is tinner than those of a white winged dove.
|Distribution||Native to Texas and Southwest of the United States. |
They are found in Central America, the Caribbean, Southern Mexico, and Florida.
They are now distributed to Arkansas, Oklahoma, northern New Mexico, Kansas, Alaska, some parts of Western South America, and some Canadian provinces.
|Native to North America and are Widespread in Southern Canada, the Southwestern U.S., the Atlantic archipelago of Bermuda, the Greater Antilles, Panama, and Mexico.|
|Behavior||Courtship behavior: Flies up then descends in a wide circle.|
Courtship behavior: Shows off the tail when perched by spreading it open and shutting it quickly.
Does not sunbathe/rainbathe
|Courtship behavior: Shows off his breast and bobs his head.|
|Reproduction and Lifespan||Breeding season begins in April or May and ends in August or September|
The average lifespan is between 10-15 years.
|Breeding season begins in April and ends in July/October.|
Average lifespan is between 1-5 years, up to 19 years in captivity.
The Key Differences Between a White-Winged Dove and a Mourning Dove
The key differences between a white-winged dove and a morning dove are physical appearance and behavior. White-winged doves are generally slightly bigger, and they are distinguished by the white feathers on the edge of their wings. Besides, while courting, male white-winged doves love to show off their flight prowess and beautiful tails to the female. On the other hand, male mourning doves usually show off their chest to the female. But this is not all. There are other differences in their taxonomy, distribution, reproduction, and lifespan.
Let’s explore these differences in detail.
White Winged Dove vs. Mourning Dove: Taxonomy
Both the white-winged dove and the mourning dove belong to the same genus Zenaida. However, they are not the same species. The scientific name of the white-winged dove is Zenaida Asiatica, and it has 12 subspecies. Other names for the white-winged doves are: the singing doves and the Mesquite doves.
However, the mourning bird is another species entirely from the genus Zenaida. The scientific name for this bird is Zenaida macroura. Other names for the mourning dove include the rain dove, the turtle dove, and the gray dove. While the white dove has 12 subspecies, the mourning dove has only five of its kind.
White Winged Dove vs. Mourning Dove: Physical Appearance
The white-winged doves are usually larger than mourning doves. They have an average length of 12 inches. Besides, they typically weigh between 4.4 and 6.6 ounces, and their wingspan ranges between 18.9 and 22.8 inches. Their entire plumage contains different colors and varies from a brownish-gray to gray tone with white feathers at the edge of their wings. They have short tails with squared edges and white feathers at the tips. Additionally, they have blue feathers in a ring shape around their eyes and dark feathers like a short streak right beneath their eyes.
In contrast, mourning doves have an average length of 12 inches. They typically weigh between 3.4 and 6.0 ounces, and their wingspan ranges between 14.6 and 17.7 inches. The mourning dove’s plumage is light grey-brown with pinkish grey-brown bellies. One different feature of the mourning dove’s plumage is the multiple black spots on their wings; white-winged doves don’t have these spots. Besides, their tails are pointed at the end, unlike the square ends of their counterpart’s tails. Like the white-winged doves, they usually have dark feathers beneath their eyes, although theirs is thinner than those of the former.
White Winged Dove vs. Mourning Dove: Distribution
White-winged doves are natives of Texas and the Southwestern part of the United States. They are, in fact, found in Texas all through the year. However, some are migratory and can be found in Central America, the Caribbean, Southern Mexico, and some parts of Western South America. They have been introduced into Florida and distributed to Arkansas, Oklahoma, Northern New Mexico, Kansas, and Alaska. They are also found in Canadian provinces like Ontario and Newfoundland. Their range includes scrub, woodlands, deserts, citrus orchards, agricultural fields, and residential areas.
Mourning doves are native to North America. They are widespread in Southern Canada, the Southwestern U.S., the Atlantic archipelago of Bermuda, the Greater Antilles, Panama, and Mexico. Their range includes urban and suburban neighborhoods, farms, grassland, prairie, and light woods. They also frequent open fields, along roadsides, and atop telephone poles.
White Winged Dove vs. Mourning Dove: Behavior
Both white-winged doves and mourning doves have similar behavioral patterns. However, certain behaviors are specific to each bird. For instance, when a male white-winged dove is courting, it usually flies up and then descends in a wide circle. He also shows off his tail when perched by spreading it open and shutting it quickly. The mourning dove, on the other hand, usually courts the female by showing off his breast and bobbing his head.
Besides, one behavior typical to mourning doves is sunbathing/rain bathing. The bird does this by lying on the ground or a tree branch while stretching one wing for up to 20 minutes -this is why they are called “rain doves.”
White Winged Dove vs. Mourning Dove: Reproduction and Lifespan
For white-winged doves, the breeding season begins in April or May and ends in August or September. They lay one to two eggs per clutch. Usually, both parents are responsible for incubating the egg, which takes 14-20 days to hatch. The lifespan of an average white-winged dove is between 10-15 years.
On the other hand, mourning doves breed from April to July, although in some regions, breeding can persist until October. This bird lays two eggs per clutch and may have three to six clutches per year. Eggs are usually incubated by both parents, and they take between 14-15 days to hatch. The lifespan of an average mourning dove is between 1.5-5 years.
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