Mourning DoveZenaida macroura

adult
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
juvenile
Laure W. Neish/VIREO
adult
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
adult
Tom Vezo/VIREO
Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove

Description

12" (30 cm). Soft, sandy buff with a long pointed tail bordered with white. Black spots on wings.

Voice

Low mournful (hence its name) coo-ah, coo, coo, coo.

Listen

coo & flight twitter
coo & partial coo

Habitat

Open fields, parks, and lawns with many trees and shrubs.

Range

Breeds from southeastern Alaska, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick southward to Mexico and Panama. Winters north to northern United States.

Discussion

This abundant bird has increased with the cutting of forests and burning off of grass. The Mourning Dove is common in rural areas in all parts of the United States, as well as city parks and, in winter, suburban feeders. In some states it is hunted as a game bird while in others it is protected as a songbird. Its species name, macroura, is Greek for "long-tailed." The young are fed regurgitated, partially digested food known as pigeon milk.

Nesting

2 white eggs in a loosely made nest of sticks and twigs placed in low bushes and tall trees, more rarely on the ground.

Similar Species

adult

Eurasian Collared-Dove

13-14" (31-34 cm). W. 25-28" (63-70 cm). Larger than a Mourning Dove. Generally gray-brown with vinous pink flush, especially on chest.

adult

White-winged Dove

12" (30 cm). A brownish-gray dove with blackish wings that have a broad diagonal white bar; rounded tail has whitish corners noticeable in flight.

adult

Rock Pigeon

13 1/2" (34 cm). The common pigeon of towns and cities. Chunky, with short rounded tail. Typically bluish-gray with 2 narrow black wing bands and broad black terminal tail band; white rump.

adult

White-tipped Dove

12" (30 cm). Brown with whitish forehead, belly, and tail tips; chestnut wing linings.

adult

Spotted Dove

13" (33 cm). Larger and stockier than Mourning Dove. Dark cinnamon-gray above, buffy below. Light gray head; wide black collar; white spots on hindneck.

Vireo

iPad Promo