Photo by Melody

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Zenaida
Species: macroura


13 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Albertville, Alabama
Auburn, Alabama
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Brentwood, California
Canoga Park, California
Fort Bragg, California
Highland, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California (2 reports)
Glade Park, Colorado
North Haven, Connecticut
Wilmington, Delaware
Big Pine Key, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Columbus, Georgia
Cornelia, Georgia
Douglasville, Georgia
Hephzibah, Georgia
Algonquin, Illinois
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Divernon, Illinois
Grayslake, Illinois
Madison, Illinois
Rock Falls, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Sioux City, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Gilbertsville, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
Monroe, Louisiana
Bishopville, Maryland
Linthicum Heights, Maryland
Halifax, Massachusetts
Belleville, Michigan
Mattawan, Michigan
Paw Paw, Michigan
Remus, Michigan
Albertville, Minnesota
Hamel, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Canton, Mississippi
Golden, Mississippi
Marietta, Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi
Brunswick, Missouri
Cole Camp, Missouri
Conway, Missouri
Jackson, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Cut Bank, Montana
Fort Benton, Montana
Lincoln, Nebraska
Warner, New Hampshire
Beachwood, New Jersey
Bridgeton, New Jersey
Palmyra, New Jersey
Willingboro, New Jersey
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Himrod, New York
La Fayette, New York
Livingston Manor, New York
Pittsford, New York
Rochester, New York
Sunnyside, New York
Yonkers, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Oxford, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Medora, North Dakota
Carrollton, Ohio
Columbiana, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Lebanon, Ohio
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Norman, Oklahoma
Bend, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Hillsboro, Oregon
Mill City, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Meshoppen, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
La Follette, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Summertown, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Baytown, Texas
Euless, Texas
Geronimo, Texas
Granger, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
La Joya, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Mcallen, Texas (2 reports)
Mission, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
South Padre Island, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Sandy, Utah
Essex Junction, Vermont
Hurt, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Sterling, Virginia
Walkerton, Virginia
Stanwood, Washington
Charles Town, West Virginia
Appleton, Wisconsin
Kenosha, Wisconsin

By DebinSC
Thumbnail #1 of Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by DebinSC

By Scorpioangel

Thumbnail #2 of Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Scorpioangel

By plantladylin

Thumbnail #3 of Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by plantladylin

By Sheila_FW

Thumbnail #4 of Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Sheila_FW

By synda

Thumbnail #5 of Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by synda

By synda

Thumbnail #6 of Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by synda

By NM_Jane

Thumbnail #7 of Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by NM_Jane

There are a total of 49 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Member Notes:

Positive plantladylin On Dec 27, 2008, plantladylin from South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b) wrote:

The Mourning Dove is a very common bird in my area, in abundance year round, and numbers increase greatly in winter months with migrants from the north.

One of my favorite birds with it's peaceful, lovely cooing song.

Positive synda On Dec 28, 2008, synda from Carrollton, OH
(Zone 6a) wrote:

The Mourning Dove Is a very pleasant bird to have in your yard.The gentle cooing is very calming.And they love to clean up all of the feed on the ground that the other birds drop from the feeders.I was amazed that the babies are born with down already on there little bodies,until I seen it myself.

Neutral NM_Jane On Dec 29, 2008, NM_Jane from Las Cruces, NM wrote:

The cooing of these birds is peaceful and relaxing; but they can become pests in a hurry. They'll eat everything in sight and poop all over the place (cars windows, patio furniture, etc.).

A couple of them would be fine to have around; but they multiply like rabbits. I started out with just a few mourning doves several years ago. Now, I have over 50 of them that try to hog all the food in my ground feeders. I frequently have to just shoo them away so my quail can get something too eat too.

Positive sonnet On Mar 10, 2009, sonnet from Hamel, MN wrote:

Here in Minnesota (just West of the Twin Cities) the Mourning Dove is a sign of spring. They summer here but are absent in the particularly cold winters. They also come earlier than the robins, being able to tolerate colder temperaures than the robins do. Just this week (March) I began to see a few at the feeder again - what joy to know that spring must be returning at last!

They will eat up at the feeder but prefer to eat spilled seed scattered on the ground.

Oh, and they torment my poor dog, who would dearly LOVE to try and catch them!

Positive buddyd On Apr 20, 2009, buddyd from Highland, CA wrote:

There is a pair of these lovely birds that hang around the perimeter of my property, sometimes coming to the feeder in my backyard. I find them extremely shy and skittish, flying off at the slightest sound. However, they're never too far away and can be heard singing most of the day. They have pale taupe-colored feathers trimmed in white with red eyes. They pose no problem and are fun to have around. Lynnmarie

Positive TheHackster On Aug 1, 2009, TheHackster from Columbus, GA
(Zone 8a) wrote:

Pleasant birds to view. All appear to be "over-weight" to me - plump birds. Now and then I'll see one have a conflict with another - I guess one was trespassing on the turf of the aggressor. . They are most often found under my feeders eating the spillage.


Negative birder17 On Oct 9, 2009, birder17 from Jackson, MO
(Zone 6b) wrote:

I don't care for this bird. It sets in my feeders and eats a lot of seed.

Positive weedsfree On Jan 31, 2010, weedsfree from Magna, UT
(Zone 7a) wrote:

I agree with buddyd. It took a couple of years for these birds to come to our property, after we moved in. We always have a mating pair every spring and that is all. They share with the other birds and do not fight for food. They seem to watch over the other birds while they eat.

Negative Gardennot On Feb 9, 2010, Gardennot from Willingboro, NJ wrote:

These birds may be pleasant to look at. But overall they are little piggies in disguise. They will rest in your garden, on your lawn, in your trees, on your roof, and power lines. Their droppings are large and difficult to clean off your car, and patio furniture. Shoo them away!!!

Positive madebymarni On Apr 20, 2010, madebymarni from Kenosha, WI
(Zone 6a) wrote:

We love having these birds around. We love their "call". We have a pair nesting on our porch as I write this! Look forward to watching them have their babies.

Positive Juttah On May 4, 2010, Juttah from Tucson, AZ
(Zone 8a) wrote:

It's amazing how devoted Mourning Doves are to their eggs and offspring. The male sits on the eggs all day, and in the evening his partner shows up for "shift change." Next morning, the male comes back to relieve his mate. I wonder how he finds time to feed himself, being that he's on the nest during daylight feeding hours. There is always one parent in attendance from the moment all eggs are laid (usually 2) until the young are halfway fledged. I was surprised to see the youngsters return to their nest for several nights after they fledged. I always thought birds never return to the nest once they leave it, but I've observed this behavior twice now.

Positive laurieny On May 11, 2010, laurieny from Sandy, UT wrote:

We have had a pair of doves stay with us the last 3 years, showing up in March and staying on until November. Have never seen their nest or any young ones-though we have had many other species born within our view. Besides enjoying their coo with an early morning coffee or an evening glass of wine, we appreciate their efforts at keeping the ground free of all the seed the others spill out of our feeders! They seem to share the ground bounty with the dozen or so quail that wander about our neighborhood fairly amicably. They have become pretty comfortable with us, flying up to the second floor deck and strutting around looking for spilled seeds even if we are just a couple of feet away.

Positive BajaBlue On Oct 17, 2010, BajaBlue from Rancho Santa Rita, TX
(Zone 8a) wrote:

I ewmwmbwe rhis bird from
my childhood. We lived in a
home surrounded by citrus
groves and the cooing was
a sign that the doves were

Nowadays we have oaks &
sweet gums and pines and
just in the past year or so
have been hearing the doves
cooing. It is a very soothing
and conforting sound , so
wionderful to wake up to
each morning.

Positive nutsaboutnature On Jan 26, 2011, nutsaboutnature from Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a) wrote:

We have these wonderful birds all year in our zone 5a area of Northern Illinois.

They're a gentile, non-aggressive bird. We love listening to their "cooing" as well as the whistling sound of their wings. They're not at all fussy about food & will happily eat the seeds that the other birds ignore.

We once had a female build a nest in a clay flower pot tray on an upstairs balcony. It wasn't even spring yet & there was a lot of snow on the ground. She was quite content & we felt it was about the safest place for her (Doves aren't known for their nest-building abilities) so we watched while she laid her eggs & eventually hatched her beautiful babies. One-by-one in early Spring they got up enough nerve to fly up to the railing & take off. They returned regularly until they felt comfortable in the great big World out there. Very enjoyable & rewarding to watch.

Mourning Doves mate for life.

Positive WV_Gardener On Aug 6, 2012, WV_Gardener from Charles Town, WV
(Zone 6b) wrote:

I really enjoy my morning doves here in WV panhandle. I guess I've been very lucky, because they don't bother my hanging feeders. They just eat what ever falls from the feeders. They nest in two trees in my yard and I've had a great time watching from nrsting to the babies time to leave the nest. Mom & dad work so hard together to get them started in life...makes me smile:)

Positive Chillybean On Nov 4, 2014, Chillybean from Near Central, IA
(Zone 5a) wrote:

This is one of my favorite birds... I have so many, but I really have a soft spot for this dear.

Yes, they poop, but so do we. Think of the environmental imact ofthat. Yes, they eat a lot, but they eat the cheap and expensive seed alike. AND they eat the whole seed, so do not leave that mess behind.

I like nearly everything about them, from their soft eyes down to their pink feet. About the only thing I do not like is when they scare the wits out of me with their wing whistles as they fly off in fright. I inadvertantly give them the nerves as I pass by the unseen doves.

It is interesting watching the parents feed the young. The juveniles will flap their wings as other birds do, and make the softest of coos as they beg. But instead of opening their bills wide to receive a meal, it's the parent who does, so the young can retrieve either the crop milk or seed, depending on their age. Unlike other birds, they and others in the dove family have muscles that allow them to swallow the water they drink. They do not need to tip their heads back for the water to flow down.

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