Common everywhere except deep woods and far north, Mourning Doves are often seen walking on the ground, alone or in flocks. Mostly plain in plumage, Mourning Doves are a blend of light brown, dusty pink and blue-gray with black spots on their wings. Mourning Doves name make sense when you hear their call – a slow mournful cooing. Listen also to their wings as they fly, you’ll hear a distinctive whistling or whinnying. The Mourning Dove is one of the most hunted birds in North America but luckily its numbers are still quite large, making it one of the most plentiful birds in the United States.
In the wild, Mourning Doves feast on seeds, grains and herbs/grasses. The best bet for attracting them to your feeders is with Wild Bird Center’s Cheepers bird seed; a great pick for these gentle birds. An excellent all-purpose mix with a blend of millet, cracked corn and Black Oil sunflower it attracts sparrows, juncos and other songbirds in addition to Doves.
Due to their large size and somewhat clumsy nature, platform feeders work well for these birds. Small, medium or large platform feeders are all good picks; the larger the platform, the more birds! In addition, our Large Ranch Feeder or Fly Thru Feeder make great choices, as the extra “seating” area helps these birds enjoy a meal in comfort.
Mourning Doves make a flimsy nest of twigs, grasses, weeds and pine needles with little insulation for their young. Nest abandonment is very common with Mourning Doves. If they feel any threat from a predator, whether human or animal, they may go elsewhere or abandon the nest all together. Nests are typically 5-25 feet off the ground and contain 2 white eggs incubated for about 14-15 days.
Did You Know?
Mourning Doves wings are pointed and almost falcon-like in appearance, while their pointed tails are longer than those of any other doves. These “design features” enable the birds to fly fast. Mourning doves have been clocked at 55 mph!