Tippy Envy

Howdy all you wildlife fans! The oven has reached max out here in the Midwest with the temps back in the nineties. By itself, that is pretty bearable, but when you add in the humidity levels and the feels likes levels cresting in the 105s to 110s then it gets more punishing. Of course, this is also a sign the annual running of the Bix7 road race is on its way and sure enough yesterday was the day. After a year’s absence due to that ass Covid, it was once again time to get really sweaty traversing the bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi River for delicious Whitey’s Popscicles (link here) at the post race party. There will be a full post on the mothership site, but in short it was a hot one (high 80’s before the gun went off with the heat index that day topping out at 103). A big congratulations to Linda for completing the 2 mile Quick Bix this year. She missed an additional year as she had her heart surgery prior to the canceled year.

Will have to check the finish line pictures, but pretty sure my legs were as red as today’s featured feathered friend.

White-Tipped Dove found at Bensten-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

Over the last few years I’ve retooled my body to handle the long grind of ultras letting go of the fast turnover indicative of the shorter road courses. Had to put those old skills back into play with the 7 miles of the Bix and the legs let me know they didn’t appreciate the amped up pace – good news is the big hills were a hell of a lot easier. While the legs take some time to recover, thought I’d put out a quick post continuing the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park “Dove Parade”.

White-Tipped Dove found at Bensten-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

Hit the jump to learn about the next entry in the Dove Parade.

In the previous wildlife post I talked about the high number of Dove species available at Bentsen. Specifically for the January ’21 visit, the Mourning Dove (link here) and the very rare Ruddy Ground Dove (link here) have already been covered. Today we are going with the White-Tipped variety. As with all Doves, the profiles are very similar especially with the slim profiled head and neck stretch.

White-Tipped Dove found at Bensten-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

The differences tend to come in their overall stature (plumpness) and then the distinct ornate details in the coloring/feathering. The White-Tipped is roughly the same size as the Mourning, but definitely larger and plumper than the Ruddy. The bird namers did us a small favor in that it does call out the white highlights on the corners of their tail feathers although those are better seen in flight. I prefer to call them the “White Not on Wing Edges” Doves to simply distinguish them from the similar White-Winged Doves. Not the catchiest of names, however, very functional ha!

White-Tipped Dove found at Bensten-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

The other key field indicator is the magenta/purplish sheen they have when the lights hits their necks assuredly due to the hours they spend putting on cosmetics every morning – surprised L’Oreal didn’t use them in their logo. Before anyone gets any ideas, I had to look up the names of cosmetic companies for that reference – you will be happy to know that L’Oreal was in the 2019 Top 10 largest cosmetics companies in the world making 30 billion – that was a ‘B’ covering up natural beauty. I also learned that my firmly held belief mascara was made from Bat shit is a myth thanks to the confusion over quano and quanine. However, I did learn that some moisturizers and face masks are made from Snail ooze and Bull semen – I rest my case about that industry and will quickly get back to Tippy before Linda catches me on a site about cosmetics.

White-Tipped Dove found at Bensten-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

Tippy is not as common as the Mourning variety, instead, having a very small footprint in the US. Preferring to enjoy the habitats of Central America and the northern parts of South America, the White-Tipped does push a tiny bit into the southern tip of Texas. There has probably been only one time I’ve been to Bentsen when I haven’t found this species hanging out with the other Doves in the area. Unfortunately, that one time was when Ron met us down there and managed to come up empty on both the White-Tipped and the White-Winged. Even told Ron before we headed down there he could bank on get those checked off his list – oops. He is probably cursing this post hehehe.

As I am out of shots (thanks to my cosmetics detour), better get to some reader takeaways that doesn’t involve gross beauty ingredients. Cornell notes that unlike other Doves, this one prefers not to flock due to the deep resentment, envy and competitiveness the females devolve into whenever they gather. I can hear the post party conversations now “did you see the pink shimmer she caked on tonight, what an amateur – doesn’t even know how to properly gradate the pink tones, I saw you looking at her tail feathers, does this shade of white make my tail look huge”. Very catty ‘dem there lady Tippies. They do keep a clean nest though.

Time to let you go. Hope you enjoyed another entrant on the Bentsen-Rio Dove parade.

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