Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wild Fact: Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is the most abundant and widespread game bird in North America, despite an annual harvest in the millions. This member of the Pigeon family is about one foot long with a grayish brown back and buff-colored underside. Unlike the non-native pigeons you see in cities, Mourning Doves have pointed rather than blunt-tipped tails. As its common name suggests, this species’ call is a mournful coo (which some people mistake for an owl). Mourning Doves also make non-vocal noises too. The next time you observe this bird taking off to fly, listen for the nervous whistling sound created as wind quickly travels over its wing feathers.

WILD Fact is a new regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division based at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, Georgia.


Anonymous said...

The fun thing about Mourning Doves is the sound they make when they scatter, a whimsical twitter like a group of ladies at a society benefit, being shooed into the meeting room.

They are ubiquitous in my back yard.


Anonymous said...

There's one mourning dove coming to our feeder in Blairsville, GA, that has on the back (not the top) of its head what appears to be a "feathered bump" or "feathered crest," though it isn't like an exotic comb or crest. This bird is definitely identical to the other doves, same markings, color, etc. Any ideas as to what it could be?

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