Common Name: Galapagos Dove

Scientific Name: Zenaida galapagoensis

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order:  Columbiformes

Family: Columbidae

Genus: Zenaida

Species: Z. galapagoensis

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Have you ever heard of the Zenaida galapagoensis?  Neither had I until I started researching.  Of the animals I could have picked, I doubted my bird would be interesting at all.  When I started looking into the general description and other facts, it became more captivating.  Although you don’t see these birds very often, they are a pretty typical bird aside from a few characteristics.  Something I thought was very different and unique is their coloring.  Further, their diet and predators are most unusual.

The Galápagos Dove is very small.  They weight a mere 88 grams (3.1 ounces) and are only about 18-23 centimeters (7-9.1 inches).  Their habitat includes, “dry, rocky, lowland areas with scattered trees.”  As interpreted from the name the Zenaida galapagoensis or Galápagos Dove- lives on the different Galápagos Islands.

The eyes of this bird are magnificent.  The eyes are a beautiful light or bright blue with a black pupil.  The rest the body is pretty normal.  The wings, flight feathers, and the tail are the mostly the same-brown with black, white, or grey edges, borders, streaks.  The neck and breast are a pinkish color and the belly is buff colored.  Last but not least, their beak is black and feet and legs are bright red.

Since this type of dove only lives on the various islands, it doesn’t have very many threats.  The most common are cats and the diseases brought to the islands by tourists or pigeons.  Some time ago, these birds were friendly with people, landing on their shoulders and heads, this made it easy to kill them for food (on the IUCN red list, least concerned).  Now they are more fearful.  For these birds, they have a dry-wet season food schedule. In the dry season they eat seeds, fruits, and fly larvae and pupae. In the wet season they eat caterpillars and flowers of cacti.

As you can see, this bird is very fascinating. Although it is a normal, small bird- it has interesting characteristics. The coloring is beautiful with especially beautiful eyes.  Something unique is its predators, although only a few, they are threatening to these birds, and their food source.

Author: Meghan W.

Published: 3/2010

 

Sources:

Arkive- http://www.arkive.org/galapagos-dove/zenaida-galapagoensis/  (February 4&10, 2010)

Wikipedia-http://www.wikipedia.com

(February 4, 2010)

New World Encyclopedia

 

Photo Credit:

Christer Sundström- www.pbase.com/sundphoto/image/90087119