A MOST COLORFUL DOVE
We bought our first Indian Greenwing Doves from Mickey Olsen, in Arizona, in 1970. The first time you see them in the sun leaves a picture you’ll never forget. Their wings are iridescent in the sun. The cock has a purple breast. The hen has a brown breast. The cock has more white on the crown of his head. Their feet and bills are a pink to nearly red color.
We didn’t raise our first young ones until 1972. They rarely breed until they are 2 years old. They do very little courting before mating and cooing is more like a moaning noise.
They lay 2 creamy white eggs, to a nest, and hatch in 14 days. Some of the birds like a box, some an open nest and some build their own nests. We provide all 3 choices when a pair are mated up. When they have made their choices, it’s provided year after year. We use white pine needles for nesting material as it cuts down on bugs in the nest.
Our Greenwings are from 5 different sources. One hen is from Belgium. We had her 4 years until she laid her first egg.
We feed wild bird seed, laying mash and Faute #11 grit. Clean water every day. Dishes are wiped clean and dumped out, then filled. The birds are kept at 50-55 degrees in the winter. And we break up pairs for 3 months. Jan-Mar., as the birds need a rest.
The aviary is 12’ X 40’, the pens are 4’ wide, 8’ high, 8’ long and a matching outside pen with shrubs. Feed, water and nests are inside to keep them dry and clean.
We have 7 unrelated breeding pairs. The oldest pair is 12. The last 5 years we’ve raised 15-25 a year form 7 pair.
I should also say they are very tame, docile doves. They don’t fight. If you put a Ringneck dove cock in a pen of Greenwings, the Ringneck would whip all of them. We keep ours with either a pair of Diamond Doves or Common Bronzewing Doves. We only have doves that are compatible.
We have a pair of Greenwings that produced a black Greenwing cock, He’s coal black with red bill and feet. He’s mated to a 3 year old hen. So far they have produced 2. They are both regular Greenwings. I hope to raise a hen, then cross him back to his daughter.
They are fast flying doves. When they get loose, they usually are gone. We’ve probably lost ten birds over the last 13 years and retrieved only one. I’ve enclosed color pictures, but in black and white you can see the cock has more white on the head. If anyone has questions, please call or write.
John Pire (2001)
Addedum: the article was printed in the Gamebird Gazette back in the late 70 or early 80’s; Neil has since died. The black Greenwing & split birds went to his friend on the West Coast & the name was changed to "BLUE" and was further developed. Another story is told that the birds went to another friend on the Gulf Coast & was developed there. No matter which is correct, Neil shared this color mutation and it was propagated by these fanciers.
Addedum 2: Greenwings have been documented as breeding, laying a clutch of eggs and raising young before two years of age.