Dove, Dove and More Dove

Dove, Dove and More Dove

At least eight different species of dove and pigeon call Texas home but not all are legal to shoot.

Story and photography by Bob Zaiglin

It was a quiescent October evening as I negotiated my open cab CJ-7 to one of the windmills on a Dimmit County ranch to bag a few mourning dove.  Approaching the mill that sultry evening, I spotted several white-wing dove circling what I thought was a dry pond north of the mill.  Out of curiosity, I entered the thorn scrub to check out what attracted the birds.  Upon my arrival at the pond, I was surprised to see a little water remaining in it, but my overt approach irritated the few white-wings that were staging in the surrounding trees, and failed to get a shot off before they flew.

The secluded tank, inundated by bluish-green-colored algae, was shaded by tall, vibrant green huisache trees that limited my visibility.

While awaiting the white-wings’ return under the tallest huisache tree, I was entertained by the pond’s local visitors coming in for a drink of the life-saving liquid.  Several pyroloxia arrived initially and I watched the desert cardinals flicker from one branch to another through the maze of huisache before descending to the sunbaked white shoreline for a quick drink before returning to the underbrush, only to be heard cheerfully singing like their cousins, the northern cardinal, just out of my sight.

To read more, click here to SUBSCRIBE