Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves are graceful, slender-headed, and large-bodied birds, commonly seen across the United States. These birds are typically gray or beige in color with dark or black spots near the tail. They have dark eyes and a dark beak. Mourning Doves can easily be confused with Eurasian Collared-Doves, which by comparison have a dark ring around their necks, or white-winged doves, which have white color under their wings and dark streaks under both eyes. Their soft, drawn-out calls can be described as a low cooing, and when taking off, their wings make a sharp whistle.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Zenaida macroura
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
1-2 Years
SIZE
9.1-13.4 ” | 0.19-0.38 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Upland Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Mourning Doves are a common sight at backyard bird feeders around Nevada. They can also be found foraging for seeds on the ground in grassland and agricultural habitats.

  • Agricultural Lands
  • Developed Landscapes
  • Grasslands

Threats

  • Disease
  • Invasive Species

Natural History

Mourning Doves are a fun and easy way to enjoy backyard wildlife with the family. They will return to the same nest year after year and lay two to three clutches of eggs every season. In warm climates, Mourning Doves may raise up to six broods per year, more than any other native bird. Chicks can be seen through Spring and well into Fall; peak season is usually March through October. Seeds make up 99% of a Mourning Dove’s diet, including cultivated grains, wild grasses, weeds, herbs, and occasionally berries. Rarely they will eat snails or insects.

Fun Facts

Both male and female Mourning Doves can produce milk for their young. For the first few days of their lives hatchlings cannot digest seeds. Young are fed “crop milk,” a gooey secretion high in protein and fat that the parents regurgitate. This substance bears little physical resemblance to mammalian milk.