Types Of Doves In Texas

Doves In Texas

So, what are the types of Doves in Texas?

With a geographical location that puts it in the center of North and South America, Texas is uniquely positioned to have an ecosystem that supports life forms that are native to both regions. furthermore, Texas boasts a unique climate that is tropically hot, and at the same time quite temperate in the winter, without being extremely cold. As you can expect from such a place, the ecosystem is teeming with all types of life forms.

Doves Texas
Dove in Texas image via Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The center of attention for this article is the types of doves in Texas. Doves are a family of highly developed birds that range in size from sparrows to chickens. Doves can be social animals, living in groups of about 30 birds, or solitary animals choosing to live alone. Some species of  Doves have only one partner throughout their lives and raise chicks in a single nesting site all their lives.

Texas has a rich presence of Doves, there are seven species of doves and pigeons indigenous to Texas, however, their numbers have suffered due to unchecked hunting activities, and out of their number,  only three ( that is the mourning dove, white-winged dove, and white-tipped dove) are currently hunted legally as games birds. Two species (red-billed pigeon and band-tailed pigeon) are currently listed as legal game birds by federal law and regulations but are not hunted in Texas because they currently do not have enough numbers and distribution. Two other species (the Inca dove and common ground-dove) are small, sparrow-sized birds which have ample numbers and distribution,  but no potential for hunting. Therefore, the state of Texas has no formal management actions undertaken about them. Now let us look at the different types of doves in Texas, and how you can identify them.

Types Of Doves In Texas 

Mourning Dove
  • 1. Mourning Dove

Physical attributes that can help one to recognize a mourning dove are their Brown wings that have black spots on them; Long pointed tail that it has. This kind of dove can be found all over the state of Texas.

You can recognize this bird by Black beak and eyes, overall brown plumage, with speckles of black on the wings.

White-winged Dove
  • 2. White-winged Dove

The White-winged dove can be recognized by the White bars that it carries on its wing, and also by the Large, and well-rounded tail. This type of dove can be found in South Texas, and its population is increasing statewide.

YOu can recognize this by a black beak, a brown coloration stretching from its head to the top of its wings. While its back is dark grey or black in color. The wings of this bird are white when it takes flight.

White-tipped Dove
  • 3. White-tipped Dove

White-tipped Dove is a kind of dove that can easily be recognized by a number of features starting from the White-frontal parts.  This species of dove also has a large, well-rounded tail, deep brown or Rust-colored wing linings. This species of dove can usually be found in South Texas.

You can recognize this species by the light grey coloration on its head and breast, and its whitish underside. The wings are a brown or darker shade of grey.

Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • 4. Eurasian Collared-Dove

The Eurasian Collared-Dove has a controversial history behind it. As the name probably gives away, this is not a native species to Texas or the United States, but is actually an ‘invasive species,’ that comes from the tip of Asia, as well as central Europe.

The Eurasian Collared-Dove gets its name from the black collar it has around its neck. The bird is a medium-sized dove, which is evidently smaller than the wood pigeon,  and slightly larger than the related turtle dove. This dove is similar in length to a rock pigeon with an average length of 32 cm (13 in) from the tip of beak to tip of the tail, with a wingspan of around 47–55 cm (19–22 in). As per weight the bird usually weighs between 125–240 grams. It can come in a color range that stretches from grey to pinkish-grey, but it is the same species. This coloration is overall- from head to wings and underparts although it can be a little darker above than below. The tail feathers of this species are usually grey-buff above, and dark grey tipped white below; the outer tail feathers are also tipped whitish at the topside. It has a black half-collar edged  The short legs of this species are red and the bill is black.

This species can be most easily recognized by the Narrow black collar on the nape of its neck, then also by the White, coloration on the underside of its tail. Do not forget that the body is Pale gray, it has a black bill, and its eyes are red.

Rock Dove (Rock Pigeon)
  • 5. Rock Dove (Rock Pigeon)

The rock dove, which is also called the rock pigeon, or sometimes common pigeon is a member of the dove family. As a matter of fact, this is the bird that comes to mind when people mention the word ”pigeon”. This is the particular species from which the domestic pigeon is descended. Today this species has three categories: wild, feral, and domestic.

YOu can recognize them by the gray plumage, with a luminescent green head, red eyes, and red feet. Being similar in size to the Eurasian /collared Dove, this species too has a typical size of 32cm from the tip of beak to tip of the tail. They generally have a wingspan of around 47 to 55 cm, and usually, weigh around 125 to 240 grams for a good feed adult of this species.

  • 6. Band-tailed Pigeon

The band-tailed dove, which is more commonly called a Band-tailed pigeon is a medium-sized bird that is native to North and South America. Its closest relatives are the Chilean pigeon and the ring-tailed pigeon, which are distinct because of a terminal tail band and iridescent plumage on their necks. They are typically bigger than rock pigeons and can weigh up to 340 grams. A bird such as this would not feel safe around humans, and so band-tailed pigeons have as their habitat, thickly wooded areas that are up in mountains.

You can recognize them with  Yellow bill, a small white band on the neck, and generally brown plumage. The wings of this species are generally grey in color, while the white band on the tip side of the tail becomes visible when the dove is in flight.

  • 7. Inca Dove

The Inca dove or Mexican dove is a small species of dove that is native to North America. The  Inca dove is diminutive in stature, and only reaches a length of 16.5–23 cm and also a weigh 30–58 grams. The birds are usually slender, with a gray-brown plumage that gives the appearance of the bird been covered with scales.  The tail is long and square. On the edges of the tail feathers, there is a distinct white coloration.

You can recognize this bird with: Its brown color, it looks like it has scales. It is small in stature. YOu can find it everywhere: Urban and suburban areas, woodland edges, savannahs, thickets

  • 8. Common Ground-Dove

The common ground dove (Columbina Passerina) is a small member of the dove family. This species is native to the southern United States, parts of Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. The common ground dove is considered by researchers to be the smallest member of the dove family that inhabits the United States.

You can recognize this bird by Sandy brown color, Dark spots on wings, Short, round tail and most distinctively by its  Small body, and short, thin bill.

Texas Dove Hunting

Cheap, accessible and inclusive dove hunting in Texas for all Lone Star state species. The limit for doves is 15 per day and the limit for possession 45. It is a sport that enthusiasts flock to from the Red River to Rio Grande for a steamer September afternoon.

The latest statistics point to tennis enjoyment, golfing or outside jogging being more dangerous than using a Texas Fire Arm or Dove Hunting. Due to lax precautions on safety during dove hunting, injuries can occur.

  • North Zone: Sep. 1 – Nov. 12, 2021, Dec. 17, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
  • Central Zone: Sep. 1 – Oct. 31, 2021, Dec. 17, 2021 – Jan. 14, 2022
  • South Zone: Regular season: Sep. 14 – Oct. 31, 2021; Dec. 17, 2021
    – Jan. 21, 2022; White-winged Dove season: Sep. 3-5, 10-12


Conclusion: On The Types Of Doves In Texas

As you have seen from this article, doves have the potential to thrive in Texas. However, the long and unchecked activities of game hunters have put a big obstacle on their existence. As a matter of fact, some species of doves have been completely wiped out from the earth. A famous example of this is the Passenger Pigeon, which is said to have been so abundant at one time that populations of this bird would darken the sky when they fly by. Now, there is no single Passenger Pigeon in existence in the whole earth, and we have hunters to thank for this.

Even though some species of doves that we have highlighted in this article are currently seeing their numbers come back, a lot still has to be done to protect them. They may be abundant now, but what is to stop our children from wiping them out?

If we are going to continue to enjoy the beauty of these birds, and also the part that they play in sustaining the balance of nature, then we must take proactive measures now.

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