The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the dove family, Columbidae. It is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds. It is also a leading gamebird, with more than 20 million birds (up to 70 million in some years) shot annually in the U.S., both for sport and for meat. Its ability to sustain its population under such pressure is due to its prolific breeding; in warm areas, one pair may raise up to six broods of two young each in a single year. The wings make an unusual whistling sound upon take-off and landing, a form of sound. The bird is a strong flier, capable of speeds up to 88 km/h (55 mph). It is the national bird of the British Virgin Islands.
Their breeding range spreads across almost the entirety of Canada, Alaska and, to a more variable degree, across the western mountains and northern parts of the United States. As their name indicates, the species occurs mostly as a breeder in open conifer forests. Northern pine forests supports the majority of the species breeding population. However, stands of ornamental conifers or deciduous trees may support nesting birds in partially developed parks, cemeteries, and suburban woodlands. While they favor feeding in open forest canopies where cone seeds are abundant, they’ll forage in habitats as diverse as deciduous forests and thickets, meadows, grasslands, weedy fields, roadsides, chaparral, and backyard gardens and lawns. They flock to backyard feeders offering small seeds. Mineral deposits can lure them to otherwise unattractive habitats like winter road beds that are salted to melt snow and ice. The nest is well-hidden on a horizontal branch of a tree, often a conifer.
Incredible that number of mourning doves falling to hunters annually. For food I can understand, sort of, but for sport? Who enjoys killing something that beautiful for pleasure?
You are right, D. I can’t understand it either. You can see this happening in Africa all the time. People hunting wild animals for the sake of sports. 😪 Thank you.
Both nicely captured, HJ! 🙂
Thank you, my friend. 🙂
The one dove does look mourneful as it bows its head. Love the blue eyes! like the z-z-z–t sound the siskins make and the flash of yellow.
Thank you, Jane. 🙂
Beautiful captures HJ, I love the light in both photos. I have never seen Siskins before, they look like Sparrows bit with a different beak.
Thank you, Ashley. You’re right about the Siskins. 🙂
Love the doves.
They are OK…they eat too much! Thanks, Tom. 🙂
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