Tucson Mountain District Roads Closed Due to Flash Flooding
Several interior roads, including the scenic loop, are closed in Tucson Mountain District (west) due to severe storms and flash flooding on August 26th. Roads will remain closed until further notice. Check the park's facebook page for updated information More »
Labor Day Run - Rincon Mountain District Road Closure - Sept. 1st
Due to the Annual Labor Day Run, Saguaro National Park's Rincon Mountain District Loop Drive will be closed from 4:00am to approx 10:30am on Sept. 1, 2014. Please be advised of vehicle congestion along roadsides when approaching the park during this time. More »
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
During spring in the Sonoran Desert, the air is filled with the mating call of the white-winged dove. Their hoots and coos are so abundant that they sometimes drown out the sounds of other birds.
However noisy the white-winged dove might be, they play a very important role in the life cycle of the saguaro cactus. When saguaros flower, white-winged doves move from flower to flower, sipping nectar and pollinating the plant. Once the flowers become fruit, the doves have a new food source. The sweet fruit is filled with thousands of tiny seeds, which pass unharmed through the digestive system of the dove. If seeds are passed while the dove is perched on a tree or bush, that tree or bush might become a nurse plant to the growing saguaro. Such a plant protects the young saguaro from extreme weather and animals and greatly increases its chances of survival.
Size: 11.5 in. Wingspan: 19 in.
Diet: Seeds and fruit
Did You Know?
Many of the plants of the Sonoran Desert are not only edible, they are great sources of nutrition, including the buds of the staghorn cholla which is a great source of calcium and magnesium.