DOVES AND CUCKOOS

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There's no particular justification in lumping members of these two orders (Columbiformes and Cuculiformes) together, so don't make much of it.

   Mourning Doves are the most frequently seen dove on the refuge, and can be seen flying over any of the open areas, on the dikes, and in any of the wooded habitats.
          The much smaller Ground Dove is less frequently seen.  I see one or two occasionally in the summer sitting on the dikes.  The shorter tail and flash of rusty red in the wings when they fly, along with the orange beak, distinguish them from Mourning Doves.
      Yellow-billed Cuckoos are breeding birds on the refuge, arriving in April and departing in mid-fall.  They can occasionally be seen, or more frequently heard, in any of the hammock habitats.  They often call with their kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk call just before summer thunderstorms, hence their colloquial name "rain crow".  They are particularly furtive, though, often flying from the deep in the foliage of one tree to the center of another.  Their long tail and distinctive, sleek profile in flight are distinctive.

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