Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Paine, "Inca Dove in Nebraska, in Winter," from Nebraska Bird Review (March 1988) 56(1).


Copyright 1988, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


On 28 October 1987 my uncle, Lee Johnson,and J saw a small dove on the bird bath at my home in Kearney. We did not use binoculars, and thought it was a small Mourning Dove. On 2 November my son Gary Paine. and I saw it and used binoculars on it, noting its small size and rufous wings. We thought it was a Common Ground-Dove. and reported it to Dr. C. W. Bliese. On 2 December it was seen again on the bird bath and in trees. This time Margaret Triplett identified it as an Inca Dove, and the identification was confirmed then and later by other observers, who came from all over the state to see it.

The identification was based on the small body, about sparrow-sized, scaly back, rufous on wings which showed only in flight or when the wings were moved. The eyes showed red at times. The beak was long, slender, and dark. It had black and white on a long, pointed tail. Noreen Schutz. who lives about a mile from us, saw a bird feeding and drinking in her yard 12 and 13 December which she thought was the Inca Dove, but there have been no other indications of where it may have spent its time between appearances here. It was last seen at my home on 3 March, but it was seen 7 March a block away at the Warren Miller's.