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Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura


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Mourning Dove

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Columbidae, Pigeons and Doves view all from this family

Description ADULT Male has pinkish buff plumage overall. Upper wings, back, and rump are buffy brown with black spots on tertials and wing coverts. Head, neck, and breast are paler buff, flushed pink on breast and with iridescent bluish feathers on nape. Note dark crescent on lower margin of ear coverts, dark bill and pinkish red legs. Adult female is similar, but less colorful on neck and breast. JUVENILE Similar to adult female, but has spotted and barred appearance to back, neck, and breast, and pale face with dark line through eye.

Dimensions Length: 12" (30 cm)

Habitat Common in open terrain, including arable farmland, parks, suburbs, and roadsides. Northern populations are mostly migratory, present Mar-Sep, wintering south to Mexico. Birds from south of range are often rather sedentary and at best locally nomadic in winter in search of food.

Observation Tips Easy to see.

Range Southeast, Great Lakes, Southwest, Mid-Atlantic, New England, Western Canada, Plains, Eastern Canada, Rocky Mountains, Texas, California, Northwest, Florida, Alaska

Voice Utters a series of mournful, hooting calls.

Discussion Slim-bodied, long-tailed dove. Feeds on ground (mainly on seeds) and walks with jerky, but rapid manner on short legs. Forms flocks outside breeding season. Sexes are separable with care.