WINTER BACKYARD BIRDS (U.S. AND CANADA)

Mourning Dove 

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Zenaida Macroura

Mourning Dove

They are generally light gray-brown and lighter and pinkish below. Their wings have black-spotting, with white outer tail feathers, contrasting with the black inners.

There is a distinctive crescent-shaped area of dark feathers below the eye. Eyes are dark, with light skin that surrounds them. The legs are short and reddish colored.

Males have bright purple-pink patches on the neck sides, with light pink coloring reaching the breast, their crown is distinctly bluish-grey in color.

Females are similar in appearance, but with more brown coloring overall and a little smaller than males. Iridescent feather patches on the neck above the shoulders are nearly absent but can be quite vivid on males.

Juvenile birds have a scaly appearance and are generally darker.

BILL: short, dark usually a brown-black hue.

SIZE: medium-sized, slender, measuring about 12 inches in length.

WEIGHT: weighs about 112 - 170 grams, usually closer to 128 grams.

COLOR: gray-brown, pink, black, white, purple-pink, bluish-gray and red.

A wide variety of seeds, grains, fruits, and insects.

Farms, small towns, open woodlands, scrubs, roadsides and grasslands, parks, and large gardens.

The Greater Antilles, most of Mexico, the Continental United States, Southern Canada, and the Atlantic archipelago of Bermuda.

Feeds on ground in open country, and near habitations. Lives and roosts in flocks (outside of breeding season).

Their advertising call is a mournful “oowoo-woo-woo-woo”. Their wings produce a fluttering whistle as they take flight.

NEST: The female builds the nest while the male brings the nesting materials. The nest is a flimsy assembly of pine needles, twigs, and grass stems, unlined and with little insulation for the young.

It is typically placed on a branch of evergreen, orchard tree, mesquite, cottonwood, or vine.

They may even nest on gutters, eaves, or abandoned equipment.

EGGS:  2 small white eggs.

INCUBATION: 14 - 15 days, both sexes.

NESTLING PHASE: 12 - 15 days.

The oldest known Mourning Dove was a male, and at least 30 years, 4 months old.

Mourning Dove Infographic

REFERENCES: https://en.wikipedia.org

                         https://www.allaboutbirds.org

                         http://www.oiseaux-birds.com

1 comment

  • There is a dove in my back yard sitting on a nest. There are 3 eggs in the nest. Is this a rarity? I’m thinking they’re infertile because mommy is very young. Possibility? Thank you

    Ellen Vallero

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