Mourning Doves

Weather: another gray day / 21 degrees F / lake effect snow is falling  – we should be getting at least 2-3 inches worth by morning.

I have a soft spot for mourning doves. They are such sweet, gentle birds and I love to have them visit me. Despite the fact that they are ground feeders, they’ve figured out how to eat directly from my bird-feeder. They coo to each other from the trees surrounding my backyard. I find it very soothing. Their call is rather sad and mournful – so of course, they are called mourning doves.

This afternoon, I came home from work for a late lunch and discovered that the doves had been spreading the word – “free food at Jill’s house!”

There were almost 30 doves in the branches of the trees, just waiting their turn at the feeder. They always take to the trees as soon as I appear and don’t come down until I leave. They are very polite when eating, only perching on the feeder 3 or 4 at a time, with another 3 or 4 eating on the ground. The juncos, nuthatches and chickadees aren’t intimidated and stop in for their own share. The cardinals are shyer, waiting until I come out to add more seed and so frighten the larger birds away: at least for a little while.

Mourning doves are a very sociable group, I very rarely see only one. That is probably why there are so many names for a large group of them: a bevy, a cote, dole, dule,or a flight. My true love got two of them for Christmas – they are also called turtledoves.

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 Waiting for their fair share

You can always click on the photos to get a larger view.

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About Jill-O

a girl who likes lakes, trees and critters; making an attempt at living the artistic life.
This entry was posted in birds, nature and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mourning Doves

  1. Tatyana says:

    Nice little story and pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sue says:

    Hi Jill,
    I don’t think I’ve seen a dove in a tree. We have some who live in our yard, and they like to have their babies feed in the veggie garden. I have to be careful when I go in before they learn to fly, because I don’t want to startle or scare them, by being startled by them. I do love them, too, the gentle souls.

  3. jellyfishbay says:

    I made another count this morning. 30 for sure, all waiting for a chance at my one little feeder. I’m going thru my sunflower seeds too quickly.

  4. Betsy says:

    Beautiful photos. The cooing of the mourning dove is one of my favorite sounds of the garden. I understand they mate for life. Maybe someone can look that up and post whether that is an old folks tale or truth. I can’t understand anyone shooting these beautiful birds – not for food, surely… like shooting the heads off of flowers, in my opinion.

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