About The Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is probably one of the most common bird species, being quite adaptable to human territory. They can be found all over North and Central America, as well as in Panama and the Caribbean region. This specie measures 12 inches long, its color a soft combined shade of gray and brown, with dark spots on the wings. One may recognize them in flight upon seeing their long pointing tail. Mourning Doves are black-billed, and known to have orange colored legs, and pale blue ring surrounding its dark eye.

The Mourning Dove Nesting Preferences

The nest of a Mourning Dove is typically built by piling pine needles, twigs, weeds and grass. It tends to be fragile, as sudden movement from an incubating mother can cause the eggs to fall through the bottom, although Mourning Doves have been known to reuse a nest for up to 5 broods. It may be found perched between the altitudes of 5 to 25 feet, placed at an intersection of sturdy branches. Mourning Doves usually have 2 to 3 eggs at a time, to be incubated in a period of 14 to 15 days. Incubation is continuous, with the male and female taking turns. After hatching, the young ones take 12 to 14 days before leaving their mother’s nest. The mother is able to produce a milky substance that is fed to the young ones through its mouth. The Mourning Dove is noted as a migratory type.

Building a Birdhouse For The Mourning Dove

In place of a full birdhouse, a platform is most ideal for attracting Mourning Doves. The base should be 8 inches x 8 inches, with a ceiling height of 8 inches. The front of the platform should be open, while the sides partly open. In a backyard setting, the platform should be placed on the side of a shed or garage at a height between 7 to 14 feet, directly above or overlooking garden areas and open spaces. Its ideal location must have predator defense, elements of nature, convenient access, changing exposure to sunlight, and visibility.

The Mourning Dove Mating Habits

Breeding partners often stick together for a very long time. Partners will often keep to themselves, busy caring for their close families at breeding season and while raising the younglings. This breed’s cooing, however cheerless it may sound, actually marks the commencement of such important periods as asserting territory, nesting, and raising its young ones.

The Mourning Dove Feeding Preferences

Mourning Doves like to feed on waste grains, such as corn, wheat, and weed seeds. Feeder supply may include sunflower seeds (oil type), and cracked corn.

Interesting Mourning Dove Facts

Noted for the funny way they walk, Mourning Doves may be found flocking together on roads, yards, and city streets. Any slight threat from predators can easily drive away a nesting couple, leaving eggs and younglings behind. Open areas with trees and bushes are a common habitat preference for this specie. These birds can be found almost anywhere, save for dense forest areas and wetland. Its scientific name is Zenaida macroura, classified under the order Columbiformes, family Columbidae.