NESTING NICHE PARTITIONING BY WHITE-WINGED AND MOURNING DOVES WITH OBSERVATIONS OF OTHER SYMPATRIC COLUMBIDS
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White-winged (Zenaida asiatica), Mourning (Z. macroura), White-tipped (Leptotila verreauxi), Inca (Columbina inca), and Common Ground (Columbina passerina) doves commonly nest in the same environment in South Texas, and White-winged, Mourning, and Inca Doves nest in the same environment in central Texas. Differences in nesting behavior and dimensional aspects of the nesting substrate chosen by these sympatric dove species have not been thoroughly studied. My study provides comprehensive analyses of active nests for these doves in two distinct study sites: Estero Llano Grande State Park in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) and the City of San Marcos in central Texas. I hypothesize that discernible and substantial differences exist in nest location and habitat among these species. Doves nested in distinct habitats in Estero Llano Grande State Park. There was a significant difference in nest height in Estero Llano Grande State Park between White-winged and Mourning Doves. There were no differences in nesting characteristics for doves in San Marcos. White-winged and Mourning Doves may be partitioning space for nesting in Estero Llano Grande State Park because both species have historically nested together in that area as opposed to the more recent expansion of White-winged Doves into central Texas.