White-winged dove spotted in Petersburg, only fifth sighting in Alaska


March 30, 2023

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Johnson

This white-winged dove - recognized for the white edge on its wing, its bright red eyes, and distinctive blue ring around each eye - was photographed at Jane Smith's house this winter by birders who flew to town hoping to catch a glimpse of this rarity.

Jane Smith spotted a different kind of bird at her feeder around New Year's, something she knew she'd never seen in Alaska. Her sister, Anne Smith, saw it again during the

annual Great Backyard Bird Count in February and identified it as the white-winged dove. She took a picture with her iPad and posted it on the Alaska Rare Bird Alert Facebook page, but her post didn't draw much response, so she figured the bird wasn't too special.

Weeks later, Jennifer Cross, director of the Alaska Raptor Center, happened to be visiting from Sitka. Jane showed Cross some photos and videos of the dove. C...

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