Is there any sweeter bird than the Mourning Dove? They were my grandfather’s favorite bird. So graceful. Their call is a soft cooing and their wings make a sharp sound when they take off. Everything about them seems to be peaceful. Contrast this with the fact that they are the most frequently hunted species in North America. Although I’m not completely opposed to hunting (although I’d rather do it with my camera!), I just don’t get the fascination with hunting these beautiful birds.
Mourning Doves are frequent visitors in my garden. They often visit in pairs. They do like to take a drink from the heated birdbath–soon after I set the birdbath up this year, a Mourning Dove was the first to land on it. They mostly forage on the ground and the following is a cool fact from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds website:
Mourning Doves tend to feed busily on the ground, swallowing seeds and storing them in an enlargement of the esophagus called the crop. Once they’ve filled it (the record is 17,200 bluegrass seeds in a single crop!), they can fly to a safe perch to digest the meal.
17,000 seeds! That’s quite the little snack!
I love the eye-ring on the Mourning Doves. It looks almost blue. And their pink feet and black dots on the wings–I never really notice details like that on birds when I see them outside. It’s one of the things I love about photographing birds–I see so many more details as I go through the pictures.
A few days ago, it was very windy outside. There weren’t many birds around at all. But I looked out at dinnertime, and a Mourning Dove was sitting outside my window. He stayed for a really long time, all fluffed up against the wind. I love these birds.