Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)


French: Tourterelle à ailes blanches German: Weißflügeltaube Spanish: Zenaida aliblanca

Columba asiatica


, 1758,



Previously considered conspecific with Z. meloda, and these two were thought perhaps to be more closely related to Columba than to most other members of Zenaida; genetic data confirm monophyly of genus, and also suggest that present species and Z. meloda are each other’s closest relatives but separate species, thus backing up the differences noted between them in vocalizations and morphology#R. Validity of race australis requires close examination; coloration highly variable, and birds from Veracruz and Costa Rica were found to be indistinguishable. Numerous other races described but normally not accepted#R: clara (Baja California), grandis (Texas), insularis (Tres Marías Is), monticola (Puebla) and palustris (Nayarit) included in mearnsi; alticola (C Guatemala), collina (SE Guatemala) and peninsulae (NE Yucatán) in asiatica; and panamensis (Panama) in australis. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • Z. a. mearnsi (Ridgway, 1915) – SW USA (S Arizona and New Mexico) and Baja California S to SC Mexico (Guerrero and Puebla); also Tres Marías Is (off CW Mexico).
  • Z. a. asiatica (Linnaeus, 1758) – lower Rio Grande Valley (Texas) S to Isthmus of Tehuantepec, S on both slopes through Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to Nicaragua; also S Florida and Bahamas through Cuba, Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Hispaniola to Puerto Rico; San Andrés and Providencia (SW Caribbean); has recently spread through Lesser Antilles S to Dominica, with breeding reported in Anguilla#R.
  • Z. a. australis (J. L. Peters, 1913) – W Costa Rica to W Panama.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 27–31 cm, female 25–29·5 cm; 118–187 g. Forehead, face, neck and breast buff, throat whitish; crown, nape and hindneck mauve pinkish; small... read more


    Song is a low-pitched somewhat hoarse-sounding, rhythmic, cooing “” lasting c. 2... read more


    Typically inhabits arid tropical scrub, tropical deciduous woodland and cacti-palo-verde desert... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly seeds, but also takes mast and fruit; seeds include wild millet (Echinochloa crus-galli), crabgrass (Digitaria),... read more


    N populations breed in spring and summer; further S less seasonal. In W of range, builds typical flimsy dove stick nest, placed on crotches... read more


    Migratory in N, resident in S. Races of W & E North America winter in different regions: W... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Much habitat has been lost throughout its range. By 1965, it was estimated that c. 95% of native breeding habitat had been lost, most... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 November 2019).