We had lots of interesting company for Saint Patrick's Day. Bill made a delicious traditional dinner of corned beef and cabbage. We were joined by two local couples and all six of us crowded around our dinner table to enjoy the feast. Bill made black and tan beers for the guys and us girls enjoyed a nice local red wine. Just as we were getting ready for dessert, one of our guests commented about the number of doves under the feeders in the back yard. This unusual dove was among them.
Other local birders have reported seeing White-winged Doves in the area so that was my first thought. He has the black mark on his cheek, blue eye ring and is shorter and plumper than the Mourning Doves we see all the time. But he also has black spots on his wings, short Mourning Dove-like bill and the white wing markings curl up to his "shoulders." The markings are the same on both sides. I think this must be a hybrid - a Mourning/White-winged Dove mix except no hybrids are listed in the new Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America so I'm baffled. Any thoughts?