Mourning Doves

Tuesday, February 6

A graceful, slender-tailed, small-headed dove that’s common across the continent. Mourning Doves perch on telephone wires and forage for seeds on the ground; their flight is fast and bullet straight.

Mourning Doves eat roughly 12 to 20 percent of their body weight per day, or 71 calories on average.

The Mourning Dove is the most widespread and abundant game bird in North America. Every year hunters harvest more than 20 million, but the Mourning Dove remains one of our most abundant birds with a U.S. population estimated at 350 million.

Identification: They are about 12″ in length; gray-brown; long pointed tail; black dots on wings. Male has light gray crown and iridescent sides of neck; female is evenly brown on head and neck.

The oldest known Mourning Dove was a male, and at least 30 years, 4 months old when he was shot in Florida in 1998. He had been banded in Georgia in 1968.

Primarily a bird of open country, scattered trees, and woodland edges, but large numbers roost in woodlots during winter. Feeds on ground in grasslands, agricultural fields, backyards, and roadsides.

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Those were some interesting facts about the mourning dove – from the internet and my Stokes Field Guide to Birds.

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