Nature's Focus: Mourning Dove

Photos courtesy of Thomas W. Gorman

By Thomas W. Gorman

One of the more common birds found throughout the state, is one which is normally seen perched in large groups on electrical wires, or scratching the ground looking for seed and that species is the Mourning Dove.

The Mourning Dove is a pudgy looking bird with short legs, a small head and a long slender tail.  Its coloring and pattern are an overall subtle tan and brown with black markings on the wings and the tail.  The color variations are known to change slightly, and are dependent on their natural surroundings. 

Their primary food source is any sort of seed which they can find and they are commonly attracted to back yard feeders.  As the other birds displace the seed from the feeders which fall to the ground, the Mourning Dove will be found picking up whatever seed it can gather and store in its crop.  Once its crop is full, it will fly off to another perch and digest its meal.  The Mourning Dove is also a sociable species and they also have a soothing “coo-coo” sound, which is heard more during the spring breeding season, than any other time of the year.


I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to all of you and your families, a healthy and Happy New Year ahead!

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