Weekend Birding: Juvenile Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove is a common bird found across most of North America in both city and suburban areas. Most of them do not migrate and are resident year round. They don’t mind people and will nest around humans and come to backyard feeders, although they prefer to eat on the ground.
I have a hanging platform feeder that they like so they are often in my yard. They love the millet and the cracked corn and will sit in the feeder for long periods of time sometimes falling asleep there.
Last week I noticed a pair of doves with a newly fledged youngster at the feeder. That’s him or her on the right.
The parents flew off and the baby stayed in my yard most of the day. The next day they brought him back again and then left for the day, apparently thinking my yard was a daycare center.
You may be thinking you’ve never seen a young dove, but most people have, they just don’t recognize the juveniles. Young Mourning Doves leave the nest full-sized and able to fly, although not very well. If you look closely you can see their feathers have a white edging giving them a scaly pattern.
Below is another view of the juvenile on the feeder to the left and one of the parents on the right.
- Mourning Doves raise three broods a year and up to six broods in warmer climates.
- Eggs are incubated by both parents; the male during the day and the female at night.
- Mourning Doves are monogamous and pairs often stay together through the winter.
- Mourning Doves eat roughly 12 to 20 percent of their body weight per day, 99% of that is seed.
- The Mourning Dove is the most widespread and abundant game bird in North America.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.
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