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Nest site selection and partitioning among sympatric white-winged, mourning, and Inca doves in Mason, Texas
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Local natural communities can be negatively impacted by native species' range expansion into previously uninhabited areas. Recently, white-winged doves (Zenaida asiatica) have expanded their geographical range into areas where mourning (Z. macroura) and Inca (Columbina inca) doves have traditionally nested. The first record of breeding white-winged doves in Mason, Texas was in 1992. Mourning doves once nested throughout Mason but local residents have observed a sharp decline over the last decade. Several studies have focused on descriptions of individual species' nesting habits yet few studies exist that compare sympatric populations of these dove species. With the invasion of white-winged doves into new geographic locations, the potential for competition exists between them and smaller Columbids. The objectives of my study were to: (1) determine spatial distribution of the 3 dove species in Mason, Texas; (2) examine the effect of nesting aggregations of white-winged doves on the other 2 species; and (3) compare nest-site characteristics, nest-site partitioning, and assess the role of interspecific competition on nest-site selection. Nest searching, monitoring, nest-site characterizations, and vegetation measurements were conducted during June-August 2001. White-winged doves (n = 89) appeared to select residential and urban centers over the rural periphery of the town (97%), while 81% of the mourning dove nests (n = 27) were located on the outskirts of town. Inca doves (n = 20) appeared to nest equally in both locations. Of the 3 dove species, mourning dove nest success (37%, n = 27) was low, white-winged dove nest success was 50% (n = 78) and Inca dove nest success (62%, n = 21) was high. White-winged doves often nested near another white-winged dove nest, yet nest success increased with distance from another active nest. Nest-site characteristics indicated differential resource use, therefore, it is suggested the 3 dove species were partitioning nest sites. While it appears white-winged doves may be excluding mourning doves from residential and urban areas, future research is needed to determine whether this is detrimental to the mourning dove population.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 52-66).
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Mathewson, Heather Alexis (2002). Nest site selection and partitioning among sympatric white-winged, mourning, and Inca doves in Mason, Texas. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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