Behavior of The Mourning Dove

Learn about the qualities and peculiarities of the phenomenal mourning dove.


Mourning doves are medium-sized birds from the pigeon family and are about the size of a robin. They are the most slender bird in the pigeon and dove family, and have broad wings, with a round head, very dark beak, and a lengthy tapering tail. They are easily recognized by their plumage color and are light grey and brown but generally muted in color.

Amusing facts about the mourning dove like all birds, are unable to sweat, so to stay cool during the hot months of the year they pant just like a dog. Mourning doves are physically powerful fliers, competent enough to fly up to  speeds of 55 mph. They  are very quick and maneuverable in flight, so they can flee most predators, if they are conscious of their presence and are extremely flexible birds which are found in a wide variety of habitats. Mourning doves are one of the most heavily populated birds in the United States and during hunting season they are considered to be the most hunted bird.


They are drawn to a wide range of seed types like many North American birds but the mourning dove has a real fondness for corn, millet, safflower, and sunflower seeds.

The mourning dove is considered to be the worst nest builder in the world of birds. However, the mother will always tend to the nesting site while the father goes in quest of the necessary nesting materials. Then he when  returns from his mission, he will stand upon his wife’s back to pass the nesting material as she begins weaving them into a nest for her babies. 


Mourning doves are one of the few species of birds that mate for life and they are prolific breeders. There lifestyle is quite unusual because both the male and the female take equal egg sitting roles which entail the female sitting on the eggs during the night and the male during the day. Therefore, mourning doves are devoted parents; nests are rarely left unattended by the adults. The feeding of their young are done by both parents which makes them very special parents as their role as a parent is shared equally.


However, for all there finer qualities, the mourning dove is so common  many people simply take them for granted; ignore them even. Although, mourning doves are very skittish when approached, they still  seem to have an unusual attraction for humans.  Therefore, when we think of the mourning dove we must remember that they are considered to be the traditional bird of peace and a beloved backyard songbird.

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2 Responses to “Behavior of The Mourning Dove”
  1. Tom Silex Says...

    On October 27, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    this is well written, and im not just saying that as a generic, tailor made complement that allot of folks on triond do. i hope that you write more concise and factual articles like this in the future. I’ll be looking for them.

  2. drelayaraja Says...

    On October 31, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Good post..
    Really liked those pictures..

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