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The Inca Dove in Central Texas

A. E. Schulze
Publication Information
6 (November-December)
From Field and Study

The Inca Dove in Central Texas

On account of the long droughts that have occured throughout southwest Texas for the past few years, many birds have suffered considerably from scarcity of food and water. For Jong years the Inca dove (Scardafella inca) or Mexican dove, as it is often called, was confined to a region between San Antonio and the Rio Grande and southward into Mexico, Bexar county was perhaps the northern limit in Texas.

On account of the continued droughts, this dove, as well as many other species of birds moved north and eastward to a country where they found food and water in abundance. In Comal county, especially at New Braunfels, they are now plentiful, where but a few years ago they had never been seen. They are also quite common in Travis county. The first birds that I observed near Austin, were seen in the fall of 1902 when I unexpectedly came upon a flock of five. They were feeding together on the side of a hill and showed no fear at my presence. Only one nest has so far been found north of Comal county. This was found in a small bush in Caldwell county and contained two fresh eggs. Last summer I made several trips to New Braunfels, Comal county where I found this diminutive dove in abundance. They were confined to the city and not a single individual was seen in the immediate vicinity. No nests were discovered, but I was told by a resident that they had nested abundantly the previous spring.

Like the common dove, they are residents. After the breeding season they form small flocks and can usually be found feeding together in a shady ravine or grove. They are rapidly increasing in numbers and probably in a few years they will be as abundant as the common dove. They are slowly moving northward and have also been observed as far east as College Station.


Austin, Texas

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