White winged dove with cowbird in its talons

Asked April 24, 2015, 9:56 AM EDT

I saw a white winged dove with a brown headed cowbird in its talons. It flew off with the bird. It happened too fast to get a picture. What's that all about?

Upshur County Texas

4 Responses

that would be a evolutionary jump requiring millions of years if it was in fact a dove attacking and killing another bird for food. Doves eat almost exclusively seeds, which make up more than 99% of their diet with the remainder being small insects only. more than likely what you seen was a small falcon that often have a similar color pattern of doves and can be roughly the same size.

NO, it was not a small falcon. Not only are we seeing a pair of these Doves, but other neighbors have seen them and we are all commenting on their huge size. They look like pigeons they are so large. One neighbor has suggested that the bird in the talons was one who had invaded the dove's nest and was simply being removed. What say you?

I'm sorry this is not the answer you are looking for, but it is simply the facts I am giving you. Doves are not predatory bird and in fact it is very common with these birds. If they feel any threat from predators whether human or animal, they will go elsewhere to nest, abandoning both eggs and nestlings.

Doves just do not have the physical characteristics required to be able to grab other birds and kill them.

Like I stated before, the bird you are seeing is more than likely a falcon, and there are numerous falcons in the East Texas area that are similar to that of a pigeon.


OK, but these falcons coo like doves. Another evolutionary jump?