The Dove Parade Continues

It is probably as hard for a tall white skinny natural blonde heterosexual female actress to land a commercial gig these days as it is to find reliable Internet service on our Expedition Tres. If the current administration needs a reality check on what “infrastructure” means they can get their asses out of DC and try to work remotely in the real world. The good news is we’ve had a lot of fun enjoying what our neighbors to the north have to offer in terms of outdoor activities. A few days ago I was able to get some hard trail running in traversing the steep bluffs of Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin (as if the bluffs were not hard enough already, the heat index in the 100’s didn’t help any!). From there we made it up to Duluth, MN where I was able to fulfill a previous commitment to a fellow blogger friend. Canoeist, kayaker and hiker extraordinaire CJ posted on a trip she took to Jay Cooke State Park (link here). Based on her account, I added it to my places to target in the future. Thanks to Linda’s tremendous trip planning skills that can now be officially checked off.

Inca Dove found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

As CJ reported, Jay Cooke is an incredible place complete with a bordering bike trail and plenty of trails to test my endurance. First day took a 14 mile bike ride with Linda and the following day doubled up with a 13 mile run on some brutal elevation changing trails in the morning and then went another 10 miles biking with Linda after that. Another 14 mile biking trip is planned for later today – I might have to crawl my way through the rest of the trip ha! Anyway, big thanks to CJ for the great tip – oh and be sure and check out her site to read about the rest of her travels (link here) – she hangs out across the pond these days.

Inca Dove found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

Hit the jump to learn about the star of today’s post!

Probably should get to the featured feathered friend that has been scrolling past you already. Clearly, I have some more work to do to get to the true baseline of drabbiness when it comes to the birding world. My previous attempts of a Sparrow and then a Thrush were met with contradicting feedback. Thinking there might be some financial kickbacks (a pleasant way of saying bribes) happening by those species’ lobbyists. Thinking I might try a Catbird in the future and see how that rests with everyone or maybe even a Plain Chachalaca (it has “plain” right there in the name). For now, I have to continue on based on the limited set of images I currently have at my disposal.

Turning the hue dial just a titch with the latest in the Dove Parade at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park from our trip to Mission, TX at the beginning of the year. I have already covered the Ruddy Ground (link here), the Mourning (link here) and the White-Tipped (link here) from the parade. Well, today I bring you my favorite Dove of all, the Inca Dove (at least in the US – that Ruddy Ground was damn cute).

Inca Dove found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

The Inca is much smaller compared to the Mourning and the White-Tipped which is probably the primary characteristic that makes it so appealing. I was surprised to learn in my research that they are actually larger than the Common Ground Dove (link here). Never seen them side by side, but always felt like the Inca was smaller – my day is a success, learned something new. The good news is you can easily distinguish the two small Doves from each other.

Inca Dove found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

In fact, it is pretty easy to distinguish the Inca from the rest of the Doves thanks to two key features. One can be seen without much effort and can be easily identified in this series of shots. Their feathering has a dark brown border on the edges of their lighter tan colored feathers. This gives them a “scaled” or armored look. The other Doves have more of a blocked coloring (larger congruent hues). I personally think this gives the Inca more natural camouflage while foraging on the forest floor, especially if they drop lower and cover their pinkish feet. Before I continue, take note of the size differences in the shot below – the larger dove in the background is a White-Tipped and even though it is further behind still towering over our little Inca.

Inca Dove found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

The other distinguishing feature can actually be easily seen… as long as it is in flight. This is the feature I enjoy seeing the most as it completely caught me by surprise the first time I encountered this bird. They have a very rich burgundy coloring on their underwings close to their bodies. I always try my best to bring you a variety of angles so my readers can get a full perspective of the species. A bit of an apology with this series as I missed the Inca specimens taking flight. In my defense that was due to the arrival of the super rare Ruddy Ground. I have made a note to rectify this oversight the next time I am down there. You can see this feature if you hop over to Cornell’s website and look at their reference shots (7th shot to the right at the time of this writing).

Inca Dove found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

I did manage to get you the rear angle signifying the “end” of the shots hehehe! You can just barely see the edge of their white feathering in their tails which will also be more noticeable in flight. As I’ve covered this Dove in the past, I will not go much deeper into the details and characteristics of this diminutive Dove. Will just leave you with the fact they are primarily Central American birds that just push up slightly into the bordering states. They also have a song that is indicative of my future chances of getting Internet access as we push further north – a cooing of “NO HOPE, NO HOPE”.

Stay well everyone and for all the fellow bloggers I follow, please bear with me as I struggle to keep up with everyone’s great posts while I wallow in the connectivity twilight zone.

25 thoughts on “The Dove Parade Continues”

    1. Thank you Reed, appreciate the kind words and very pleased you got some takeaways – my prime directive in all my posts! As always, glad you ere able to dropped in!

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    1. Well, I take what I can get when I am on the road – so far 7 miles running in the heat at Devil’s Lake, 13 mile run in some tough hills/mountains, 10 miles biking with Linda same day then a redemption 14 mile ride the next day and then today a 10 mile ride. Hoping to get another 13 mile run in tomorrow and then another 14 mile ride in after that to close it out. Unfortunately, as soon as I get home, the two a days start ugh. Good thing is I’m getting a lot of vitamin D!

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    1. I wish I could have tinned the flight shot so you could see the really stunning burgundy. It still looks pretty snappy. They also tend to hang out next to each other and preen couple style which always makes me smile. Appreciate you dropping in Timothy – hope the tooth is better now!

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  1. Amazing how we all rely on modern tech. Can you remember what it was like in the days before mobile (cell) phones? Break down in the car and you probably had to walk miles to get help. We never had a home line when I was growing up so had to go down the road to the public pay phone (Great if your house was burning to the ground or someone was ill!). Now we get stressed if we have no internet, me included and I have no background in all this modern hocus pocus!
    Stay safe in the wilderness B, you called always tie a message to a dove’s leg to get help πŸ˜πŸ˜‰

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    1. I can definitely remember the non-tech days. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to be on the leading edge of technology from the early days of high school when I was lucky enough to get my first computer (10 times bigger than today’s phone and a 1000x weaker than our glowing rectangles we carry around today) that was the catalyst for my career. I can still proudly say I can walk down the street without staring down at a phone – god help today’s youth. Great idea of the carrier Dove – now that was a reference I bet the younger generation doesn’t have any clue on. Doing our best to stay safe among the trees – although Linda about hit a bear with the RV yesterday as we were driving to our next destination. Appreciate the drop in B!

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      1. Linda almost hit a bear? πŸ»πŸš™πŸ˜²πŸ˜– I hope it wasn’t Yogi or BoBo!
        Just thinking about high school (ours was called a ‘Secondary Modern’ nope, no idea why) the leading edge of technology when I was there was a ruler, protractor, set square and a pair of compasses! We did have a book containing a logarithm table and other stuff we couldn’t understand. Ah happy, innocent days of our youth. And do you remember if your motorbike or car broke down you could actually fix it yourself with an adjustable wrench, flat blade screwdriver and hammer? Happy times.

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      2. I’m just shocked she missed it – I always joke I have to put a new silhouette on the fender (think fighter planes) of whatever animal she manages to hit on our trips. Thinking like our Deer, that Bear would have done some serious damage. I laughed when I read your comment about people’s ability to fix their vehicles – whenever we see a car on the side of the highway with its hood up and a young person looking into the engine compartment we note “Not going to happen” – unless it is to refill the wiper fluid ha. I somehow managed to make it out of education without ever having to use a slide rule – I consider that one of my greatest accomplishments and hold that over my older brothers all the time.

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  2. Was happy to know that I can finally be listed as an influencer!πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ Tip for WiFi in Northern Minnesota… stand outside your RV with a metal coat hanger, angle at 45 degrees, then stand in one leg to get the best reception (if you hop up and down the β€œbars” increase). Wait! That might be for some other survival skill set.πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ Thanks for the shout out and enjoy your time in my old adventure area.

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    1. {hop} Yes, you can definitely put {hop} yourself in the “influencer” list!! {hop}. One correction {hop} though is I found the {hop} {hop} optimal angle to {hop} be 43.6 degrees. {hop}. Damn this is {hop} a good workout {hop}. Definitely having {hop} {hop} {hop} fun up here although something needs {hop} to be done with these {hop} giant assed {hop} mosquitos! Take it easy, and {hop} thanks again for the recommendations. {hop}

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      1. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ Did I fail to mention you need to switch hopping legs every third hop? Sorry… πŸ˜‚ So glad you are enjoying our State Bird, the Hubby thinks they must be classified as birds and not insects.

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    1. As I mentioned to Timothy earlier, wish I could have completed the grand tour with the flight shot, I think you would have liked the stunning flash of burgundy – next time for sure. You might have to travel a little bit south of where you are at, but should have no trouble spotting one these without much trouble. Note, they are rather quite when they spot someone looking for them. Appreciate you coming by Sam!

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  3. Another fun read, Brian. And this little guy is gorgeous! It’s awesome that Linda is also active and the two of you can enjoy cycling together. I love climbing the way you love running. But my significant other absolutely hates it. Unfortunate. At least he enjoys casual time outdoors! Best of luck with finding an internet signal this week! You two stay safe! 🌞

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    1. Thanks Lisa! right with you on how gorgeous this little Dove is (even better when they flash the burgundy highlights). Similar to your significant other, Linda wants NO part of the running hobby, but she definitely enjoys her bike. It takes me a bit for my running muscles to adapt to the different motion, so the first few miles are a definitely a struggle for me just to keep up with her (which she enjoys waaaay too much). Got some signal tonight, but will likely lose it again soon – small price to pay for being able to enjoy what nature has to offer – visited with Wolves yesterday and then on the way to our current location Linda almost hit a Bear … and one of the cutest creatures of all the Red Squirrel. Note, both were spared. Take it easy and have fun with the climbing.

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    1. Thank you Sherry! That feathering pattern is very unique and amazing how well that enables them to blend in. By the way, reads like you are on one amazing trip! You are introducing me to some very intriguing birds.

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