Doves eat a wide variety of grains, greens, and fruits based on their immediate environment. Some of the doves will occasionally feed on insects, worms, and snails in the wild. The white-winged dove represents one of the rare species of doves that almost exclusively relies on cactus fruit as its primary source of food. Indeed, just like the rest of the animal species, the white-winged dove needs a proper balance of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins, water, and vitamins from its sources of food. This project will highlight the nutritional attributes associated with the cactus fruit and how it meets the various needs of the white-winged dove in the wild.
The methodology involves collecting data from the white-winged doves from the National Phenology Network and observing how they have a preference on one source of food. A research has been made and it talks about collecting data samples from the white wing doves and observing how they feed on various sources of food in the wild (Wolf and Martinez 536). The research will also analyze samples from the cactus fruits and determine the nutrients necessary for the birds. The research occurred within the U.S. Air Force Barry M. Goldwater Bombing Range. The area must seem isolated from the agricultural land where the white-winged doves do not feel on other crops or interact with other birds. Saguaro represents the best alternative to utilize as the samples from the cactus fruits. The research also provides an estimate of the availability of cactus fruits and flowers. The research happens during the winter and spring summers when the temperatures seem high to allow the movement of white-winged doves and easy observation. The collection of white-winged doves happened within a span of ten days, especially within the 0700hrs and 1100hrs in the morning.
The flowers and fruits of the cactus plant seemed available as the main source of food for the white-winged doves (538). The ripe fruits seemed available during the months June through early August. Pollen grains showcased that the white-winged doves visited the saguaro flowers on a frequent basis. Pollen loads seemed more attractive to the white-winged doves compared to the abundance of flower in the cactus tree. Saguaro fruit accounted for more than half of all the content consumed by the white-winged doves. Also, Saguaro fruit and other plant species accounted for all the food content found in the samples of all the observed white-winged doves. Fruits and seeds from eight other species of cactus plants only acted as a balanced diet for the white-winged doves.
The findings show that the carbon isotope values of saguaro fruit pulp and floral nectar seemed stable and unique as compared to other food sources (Wolf and Martinez 539). Apart from the saguaro cactus, the other cactus species had C3 photosynthesis as shown in the samples. Apparently, the “delta c thirteen” compound increased in the liver samples of the white-winged doves due to the onset of the availability of the saguaro fruits during mid-June. Such an aspect explains why the carbon incorporation curve slightly tracked that of the percentage of saguaro in crop nutrient composition.
The research found out that the white-winged doves prefer the saguaro fruits and flowers due to their nutritional values (Wolfand Martinez 542). The saguaro cactus provided a lot of pollen grains that would add up to the diet of the white-winged doves as a source of carbohydrates and proteins. The fruit pulp of the saguaro cactus seemed rich in proteins and high content of water as compared to other species of cactus plants. The saguaro cactus provided a lot of water content to the bodies of the white-winged doves as compared to other sources of foods.