Zenaida Dove Zenaida aurita


The Zenaida Dove is a brown dove of open woodland and clearings in the Caribbean region. It occurs on all major islands and most smaller cayes, as well as along the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is medium-sized and brown overall, with a purple gloss on the neck sides and black spots on the secondaries, rectrices, and below the ear coverts. It resembles the partly-sympatric Mourning (Zenaida macroura) and Eared (Zenaida auriculata) doves, but has a distinctive terminal white band on the outer secondaries, which is visible both when the wing is folded and when the wing is open. Its low-pitched, level cooing can be heard primarily at dawn. Zenaida Doves feed both in trees and on the ground for fruits and seeds and obtains salt from natural or artificial sources. The nest is placed in a tree or shrub or, where predators are few, in a rock crevice or directly on the ground.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more

© Dolly Minis

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Zenaida Dove (Zenaida aurita), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: