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August 18, 2012 / Leslie

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.

Interesting Facts:

  • 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.

© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. Jyoti / Aug 18 2012 2:57 am

    Wow! Beautiful captures


  2. BermudaOnion / Aug 18 2012 5:54 am

    If I were a bird, I’d probably think your yard was a daycare center too. 🙂 Lovely shots, as always.


  3. Christine Harding / Aug 18 2012 6:00 am

    You’ve inspired me to make a real effort to attract some interesting birds to my garden! I’m off to buy specific food for specific birds, rather than relying on scraps which attract mainly starlings and a particularly dopey pigeon which knocks the bird table over and scares other birds away… My Snapshots were taken at a mysterious stone circle


    • Leslie / Aug 18 2012 9:34 am

      I think Starlings will eat anything! They even go in my compost pile and dig around.


  4. Louise / Aug 18 2012 6:08 am

    Such fabulous photos and interesting commentary as always Leslie. I like the white edging on the juvenile’s feathers, although the adult is the more attractive bird I think.


    • Leslie / Aug 18 2012 9:43 am

      The juvenile’s feathers are kind of scruffy too. They don’t look like that for too long and will have their adult feathers before winter.


  5. Mary / Aug 18 2012 6:47 am

    Wow, three broods a year? That mama needs a vacation 😉
    Great pics!


    • Leslie / Aug 18 2012 9:50 am

      They have a high mortality rate but up to six broods does seem like a lot of work. They’re a favorite food of raptors and are also a game bird.


  6. Barbara The Healthy Nut / Aug 18 2012 7:10 am

    Great shots of these placid lovely birds! I entertain them in my yard too. The fledges are wonderful to watch. Thanks for sharing some great photos.


  7. Sheila (Book Journey) / Aug 18 2012 7:47 am

    Great pictures and I liked learning more about the mourning doves!


  8. Marie / Aug 18 2012 8:19 am

    Great shots. Very cool! I’m pretty sure we’ve already had the young ones around, but haven’t looked too closely. Now I know what to look for. Thanks! Yep, our yard is also a bird day care. We get critters, too, even though we don’t feed them.


    • Leslie / Aug 18 2012 9:53 am

      I have critters everywhere too. I suppose having an apple tree, a walnut tree and veggie garden adds to the attraction of bird seed and several bird baths.


  9. Paulita / Aug 18 2012 8:24 am

    I love the sound of mourning doves. They seem like peaceful birds, but maybe that’s because I don’t watch too closely. Here’s Mine


    • Leslie / Aug 18 2012 9:54 am

      They’re peaceful. I never see Mourning Doves fighting. And they make a plesant cooing sound.


  10. laurelrainsnow / Aug 18 2012 8:26 am

    Monogamous! Amazing….I love the sound of the Mourning Dove. I used to think the sound was sad….thanks for sharing. Here’s MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST


  11. gautami tripathy / Aug 18 2012 10:15 am

    So peaceful..Love the doves!

    Here is my Saturday Snapshot post!


  12. Alyce (@AtHomeWithBooks) / Aug 18 2012 12:11 pm

    That’s too funny that your yard is the day care center! I don’t know if I’ve seen a juvenile, but I did see some sort of dove sitting on the sidewalk as I drove by one of my neighbor’s houses the other day. It was unusual enough for me to point it out to my boys.


  13. Patti Smith / Aug 18 2012 12:18 pm

    LOVE the detail in his/her wings 🙂


  14. lmkazmierczak / Aug 18 2012 1:41 pm

    Enjoyed reading about mourning doves….nice captures♫


  15. Suko / Aug 18 2012 4:52 pm

    What beautiful pictures!


  16. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Aug 19 2012 7:09 pm

    Well, thanks Lesley, now I can say that I’ve seen this young ones in my yard as well, just didn’t realize it prior to reading this post — how interesting.


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