Mourning Dove was Mourning…

The Mourning Dove was mourning the fact that he can’t sit in my feeder anymore!

Let me explain. Last March, I went to my local Wild Birds Unlimited store to buy my first feeder. I bought a cute, red tray feeder that had a little roof on it like a house. I enjoyed watching all the little birds, like House Sparrows, Cardinals, and Carolina Chickadees gather on the edges of the feeder and feast. One day I looked out and there was a Mourning Dove sitting in the feeder.

I love seeing Mourning Doves, because to me they just seem awkward. It’s like they want to be little like the other song birds, but are just too big. They have a silly walk where they bob their heads, and make a crazy whinnying sounds while they flap around madly. So mourning doves usually make me giggle when I see them.

I watched in fascination for about 15 minutes while this Mourning Dove just lounged around not eating anything from the feeder. It seemed pretty content, like it just moved into it’s new home. It didn’t start to eat until a few House Sparrows arrived, and then it started acting like the seed was going out of style. Periodically I would see the Mourning Dove doing this throughout the spring and summer.

IMG_0383
This Mourning Dove thought this was the perfect resting spot.

The local birds in my area loved the feeder, but unfortunately, so did the local squirrels. They were driving me nuts! (Pun intended). So I decided that for the winter I would buy one of those feeders where it closes when a squirrel goes on it. And it’s been working fabulously, but I forgot about one thing…

IMG_0762-1a
Mourning Dove asks “Where did my house go?”

Poor little guy. I went to check my feeder the other morning and there he was. He was looking around like “Why are these Chickadees getting all the food and not me??”. I watched him for a little bit, and he seemed confused. He tried flying to it, stood on top of the pole, shuffled around the ledge trying to find a path to the feeder. But there is just no way he can lounge in my winter feeder. It made me feel kind of bad, because I obviously did not take Mourning Doves into consideration when I purchased this feeder. Lucky for him that my tray feeder will be returning for the spring, and he is more than welcome to rest there again.

Here are 5 fun facts about Mourning Doves:

  1. Mourning Doves can use their bill as a straw and suck water through it.
  2. They are prolific breeders: some Mourning Doves in warmer climates could have up to 6 broods (families) in a year! The usually have between 2-3 broods in other climates.
  3. They got their name because their cooing sounds like they are lamenting over something. (ah-o0h! Whoo, whoo, whoo).
  4. The oldest Mourning Dove that we know of lived to be 31 years old!
  5. There are about 350 million Mourning Doves in the United States.

 

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Author: BirdNation

I am an avid birder, teacher, and nature lover. I primarily birdwatch throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.

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