Mourning Dove

by Mary Robichaux

I turned my head and there they were, down on the sidewalk searching for seeds and bugs. They scattered the little leaf piles around with a quick flick of their beaks and blended in with the clay colored sidewalk. If it wasn’t for their distinctive black spots, I may not have seen them at all.

Every few seconds they would glance up at me as I peered out of my car window at them. I sat through a green light just to watch these beauties. They weren’t making their characteristic wh’hooo-hoo-hoo-hooo sound today; they were only interested in finding bits to eat.

Mourning doves are common across North America in farmland, parks and open areas. Their grey-brown coloring makes them a rather plain member of the pigeon family. They frequently fly several miles to a good feeding area or water source. Nests built by mourning doves are flat, made of sticks, and loosely attached to tree branches.

When the three of them took flight, I could hear their wings clapping as they hit above and below their bodies for the first few wing-beats. What a great close-up opportunity to see and observe these beautiful birds. Next time you see mourning doves, quietly watch and see what you can learn from their behavior that you didn’t know before.

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