West and southwest United States; Florida and warmer eastern states; sometimes Mexico, South America and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Brushlands, citrus groves, cities and suburbs.
Brownish-gray above and gray below with a bold white wing patch that appears as a brilliant white crescent in flight. It is also visible during rest. Adults have blue, featherless skin around each eye and a long dark mark on the lower face. Their eyes, legs and feet are red. Juveniles are grayer than adults and have no blue eye-ring and their legs and feet are brownish-pink.
Usually a gregarious bird by nature. White-wings feed together in large flocks especially after nesting season. Flocks usually range from a few to fifty, but have been observed in flight with as many as 3-4,000! May fly 25 miles or more for food and water. Drink from stock tanks, windmill troughs, reservoirs, streams, etc.
Males attract females with a courtship behavior of cooing and visual displays. They aggressively defend territory and will spar with wing slaps if necessary. Attracted females join the male in their courtship ceremony. Over 2-5 days the pair build a nest of grasses and weed stems. 1-4 dull cream colored, unmarked eggs are laid and incubated by both the male and female for 11-14 days.
|Length:||11-12 1/2 inches|
|Weight:||4 1/2-7 ounces|
|Average Lifespan:||12.5 years|
|Wild Diet:||Seeds of sunflowers, doveweed, acorns and fruit.|
|USFWS Status:||Not Listed|
|CITES Status:||Not Listed|
|Where at the Zoo?||Small Animal Building: Desert Zone|