Mourning Dove (Zenaida Macroura)

History

The Mourning dove is a common dove found in most gardens across the United States, mostly terrestrial they spend the majority of the day foraging at ground level in search of food. The Mourning Dove also enjoys frequent sunbathing and can be seen with wings splayed out catching the rays and when given time, have also become quite trusting of humans. The wings of the Mourning Dove make a characteristic squeaking sound in-flight. They are fast fliers often covering great distances when in search of food. The Mourning Dove, also known as the Carolina Dove, is mostly brown with a long and pointed tail with black spots around the wings and the tail shows white outer feathers. They are large birds, around 31cm in length.

The nests are made in trees and the male will lead the female to several nesting sites before she chooses her favourite. The female will build the nest, with the male bringing in suitable material; twigs, leaves and grasses. Two eggs are laid, but sometimes other females will lay eggs in the same nest, meaning 4 young are raised. Incubation takes around 14 days and the young will fledge at 15 - 16 days old. They can produce up to 6 broods per year.

Behaviour

The Mourning Dove can be found in all areas, ranging from urban back gardens to open fields and light woodland. They feed mainly on seed, which makes up 99% of their diet.

The mourning Dove is hunted in the USA with approximately 20 million + being shot every year.

Breed Details

  • Status: Rare
  • Life Expectancy: Around 1 year

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