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White-Tipped Dove

  • Birds


The White-Tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi) is part of the Columbidae family and is native to Latin America’s tropical forests. It is one of the most geographically widespread species of its family, with populations recorded from North to South America, particularly in Mexico and Central America. The species is one of the smaller members of its family, with a smaller body mass and light brownish-gray feathers.

Their diet consists of small insects and seeds, which they search for among the ground cover of the forests they inhabit. They also may feed on small fruits found on trees and shrubs. The birds can be solitary or sometimes form small flocks of several individuals. Their calls can be heard in the morning and late afternoons, as they patrol their territories.

Description and Characteristics

The White-Tipped Dove is a small bird, generally measuring between 8-10 inches in length. Its upper body is grayish-brown in color, and can appear to be a bit lighter than its underparts. Its wings are grayish-brown to brownish-gray, and s show the distinctive white tips in their feathers. Its tail is grayish-brown and is graduated, narrowing towards the tips. Its head is a pale grayish-brown with rosy cheeks, a small grayish-white “V” between the bill and nape, and a white eyering. The male can be distinguished from its female counterpart by the presence of a reddish throat patch.

Habitat and Distribution

The White-Tipped Dove is native to much of Latin America, from Mexico down to Trinidad and Brazil. It is also found in parts of Central America, particularly Belize and Panama. The species prefers to inhabit lowland tropical forest areas up to around 1000 meters in elevation. It can also be found in town parks, gardens, plantations, and other semi-open habitats.


The White-Tipped Dove is a generally sociable species, often seen in small groups of two of more individuals. They will search for food through the ground cover, usually in the morning and late afternoon. They can often be seen perching on high branches and will remain motionless when perched. Their calls are a deep, low cooing sound which may be heard singly or in groups.

The reproductive season of the White-Tipped Dove usually takes place between February and October, however this may vary depending on the region they inhabit. The nest is usually constructed in a tree or bush and is made of sticks and twigs. The female will lay a single white egg, which both parents will take turns incubating for around 13 days before it hatches. The young will remain in the nest for around two weeks before taking its first flight.

White-Tipped Dove two


The main threat to White-Tipped Doves is habitat destruction caused by deforestation, agricultural farming, and urbanization. This species is also hunted for meat and for its feathers, which are used for decoration or fishing lures.

Conservation Status

The White-Tipped Dove is considered to be of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). There are currently estimated populations of around 8.5 million individuals, and its range and population size have all remained stable over the past decade.


The White-Tipped Dove is a widely distributed species found throughout much of Latin America. This small bird has adapted to a range of habitats, from tropical forests to parks, plantations, and semi-open habitats. It is an adaptable species but faces threats from habitat destruction, as well as hunting for its feathers and meat. Currently, the species is classified as of least concern on the IUCN Red List, but should be monitored to ensure it stays out of endangerment.

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