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Dove-shaped bird with orange beak?


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#1 john146

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 05:48 PM

I live in Volusia County, central Florida.  Late this afternoon I saw what I at first glance thought was a mourning dove perched quietly on the top tier of my birdbath in the backyard.  As I looked more closely, I realized that although the bird was dove-shaped, it was smaller and sleeker (slimmer) than a mourning dove.  It was also buff in body color, but with a decidedly orangeish/red, sharp, pointed beak.  When it preaned and extended its wings, a beautiful pink/coral color was revealed in the feathers under the wing.  Its feet were yellow.

I have been unable to identify this bird using any of my North American bird guides.  Can anyone help?



#2 WalkingCharlie

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 06:22 PM

Hi John:

Florida is not my area, but here's a couple of suggestions:

I have one guide book that shows Common Ground-dove occuring throughout Florida.  This book (Sibley) also shows the juvenile looking pretty much like a mourning dove with a pink beak.  As it grows, it's belly and wings change a rufous color, so this could be a 'teenager' in the middle phase.

 There's not many choices of pigeon shaped birds in Florida in the WhatBird database, so this may narrow it down a bit: http://identify.what...rs.aspx#history

My guide book also shows the juvenile White-crowned pigeon as not having much of a pronounced crown, although I don't think it would have any pink.

An alternative may be a shore bird like a plover or sandpiper.  Hope this helps. 



#3 john146

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 07:58 PM

Thanks for responding so quickly.  I think you must be right, that what I saw was a teenage male Common Ground Dove.  The pinions were definitely not chestnut as described for a mature male.  I have lived in Florida for over 20 years and have always made sure my property is a welcoming haven for birds.  It's hard for me to imagine not having seen one of these doves before, as they are evidently commonplace.  But I would never have named this bird "common," as it is quite beautiful.

Thanks again.

Kate

(John14:6 is a Scripture reference)






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