Mourning Doves are graceful, small-headed birds with plump bodies and long tails. They are a soft brown color with black spots on the wings. Males are slightly heavier than females.
- Zenaida macroura
- Length: 9.1 – 13.4 in (23 – 34 cm)
- Weight: 3.0 – 6.0 oz (96 – 170 g)
- Wingspan: 17.7 in (45 cm)
Mourning Doves are common over all of the lower 48 all year but may migrate after breeding from the north of the Midwest and southern Canada.
Habitat And Diet
You can find Mourning Doves perching on telephone wires and foraging for seeds on the ground in grasslands, fields, and backyards. They can also be found in open areas or woodland edges.
Mourning Doves’ main diet includes cultivated grains, peanuts, wild grasses, herbs, and some berries. They also occasionally eat snails.
Mourning Dove call:
Nests of Mourning Doves are built in branches of evergreen, orchard, mesquite, cottonwood, or vine trees. They are typically hidden under the protection of thick leaves. In human settlements, they may nest in gutters and eaves.
The male brings materials of pine needles, twigs, and grass stems which the female puts together. Here, she will lay two eggs that take fourteen days to hatch.
Attracting Mourning Doves
Attract Mourning Doves to your backyard by scattering millet on the ground or platform feeders. They will also eat black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts.
Mourning Doves yield as many as 20 million in hunter’s harvest every year but they still remain one of the most abundant birds in the US with an estimated population of 350 Million.