Friday, February 24, 2023

Jamaican Caribbean Dove

The Caribbean dove is gorgeous. Head-on it looks mostly white, with a continuous white forehead, face, throat and underparts, a white blotch at the front of its folded wing and a white eye sometimes with a red ring and surrounded by dull purple skin. 

The sides of the neck and the mantle (the upper middle of the back that form a "v" shape below the neck feathers) are rosy red with an iridescent green and/or purple gloss. 
The upperparts are olive brown. The tails inner feathers are grayish brown and the outer tail feathers are black with white tips. The legs and feet are red. The female is similar to the male, but the iridescence is duller. 
There are four subspecies. The Jamaican Caribbean dove is the nominate subspecies, found in Jamaica and introduced to New Providence in the Bahamas. There is also a Cayman Islands subspecies, a subspecies found on San Andres island off eastern Nicaragua (a part of Colombia), and a subspecies found in parts of Mexico (the Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel), Honduras and Belize. 

I saw the Jamaican subspecies at Rocklands Bird Sanctuary in the outskirts of Montego Bay, Jamaica, near the northeastern shore of the island. Of all the birds I saw in Jamaica, this one really jumped out at me and is a favorite. It forages on the ground for seeds and small snails.  

1 comment:

  1. This is an Aubrey Hepburn kind of a bird--understated elegance.