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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Socorro Dove Zenaida graysoni

Lauren Heck
Version: 1.0 — Published July 25, 2014



Little information. Socorro Dove is largely terrestrial. They drive away intruders through wing-beating and vocalizations (Baptista et al. 1983). Little other information on behavior in the wild is available.


Males tend to be aggressive. Otherwise there is little information on territorial defense, maintenance, or fidelity, or for territory or home range size for Socorro Dove.

Sexual Behavior

Courtship displays are similar to behaviors during the advertising coo. Socorro Dove males give a series of hops that turn into a run as they chase fleeing females. They then stop and give the advertising coo. The head is held up at an angle barely below the vertical and the neck is swollen. The tail is held at the horizontal and the wings may be slightly spread. (Baptista et al. 1983)

Males also conduct a "nest showing display" to draw the female toward him and a nest site or potential nest site. The male crouches on the site, emits the nest coo with wings twitching rapidly up and down. The head is lowered with each coo; the tail raised to a 45 degree angle and can be opened to show the white tips on the first coo, and closed on the second (Baptista et al. 1983).

Social and interspecific behavior

Unlike Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura), which often is gregarious outside of the breeding season, Socorro Dove primarily is solitary.


Socorro Doves showed little fear of predators due to lack of exposure to humans and natural predators (Jehl and Parkes 1983). Feral cats were introduced to Socorro Island after the establishment of a military garrison in 1957 and it is likely that predation by feral cats drove them to extinction in the wild. There are no native mammalian predators on Socorro Island; Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), however, occasionally may have preyed upon Socorro Dove (Jehl and Parkes 1983).

Recommended Citation

Heck, L. (2014). Socorro Dove (Zenaida graysoni), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.socdov1.01