The Mourning Dove, scientifically known as Zenaida macroura, is a medium-sized bird belonging to the family of Columbidae. It measures between 9 and 13 inches in length and weighs around 4-6 ounces. The male and female birds are similar in appearance with a slightly different size, where males tend to be larger than females.
Where To Find This Bird
Mourning Doves can be found throughout North America from southern Canada down to Mexico. They are also common across the Caribbean islands. These birds migrate seasonally but can generally be seen year-round in their native habitats.
As versatile species, Mourning Doves occupy various habitats including open woodlands, prairies, deserts as well as suburban areas such as backyards or city parks where they often nest on building ledges or gutters. In rural areas they prefer nesting in trees located near agricultural fields.
Mourning Doves feed mainly on seeds like sunflower seeds, corns, millet which they pick from the ground while walking rather than perching like other bird species do when feeding. Occasionally they consume insects and snails too but these make up only a small portion of their diet.
Here are some interesting facts about these beautiful birds:
1) Their name comes from their distinctive cooing sound that sounds like mourning.
2) Unlike most other bird species who have separate breeding seasons for males and females,Mourning Doves mate for life.
3) Male Mourning Doves will gather sticks for nests before presenting them to potential mates during courtship rituals.
4) They possess excellent navigation skills with an ability to use Earth’s magnetic field to navigate during migration.
5) Mourning Doves are among the most hunted bird species in North America, with up to 70 million taken annually for sport and food.
In conclusion, the Mourning Dove is a beautiful and interesting bird species that can be found across much of North America. They have a unique cooing sound, mate for life, gather sticks for their nests before presenting them to potential mates during courtship rituals and possess excellent navigation skills using Earth’s magnetic field. Next time you hear one of these birds cooing in your backyard or nearby park, take a moment to appreciate their beauty.