About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, June 24, 2013

How to identify baby Mourning Doves

I see a lot of mourning doves at my feeder. How do I tell which ones are the babies? ~ Mason, MI
juvenile Mourning Dove at East Lansing, MI Wild Birds Unlimited store
Mourning Doves can be found throughout most of North America and are considered among the top ten most abundant birds in the United States. While the average longevity for a typical adult is only about 1.5 years, the oldest known free-living Mourning Dove, as proven by bird banding research, was more than 31 years old. This is the longest life-span ever recorded for any terrestrial bird found in North America.

Male and female Mourning doves
Mourning Doves are a medium-sized with a grayish brown back, a buff underneath, black spots on the wings, and a black spot shaped like a comma below and behind the eye.

They have a small, thin black bill, red legs and dark brown eyes. Males are larger than females and show more color with a bluish cap, pink chest and neck feathers and three white outer tail feathers. The female is graced with an olive gray cap and a tan breast. Neck feathers can be greenish or pinkish with one or two white outer feathers.

Mourning Doves sit on their eggs for about 2 weeks, feed the babies in the nest for about 2 weeks and then care for their young for about a month after they've fledged. Both male and female mourning doves share in incubating and feeding their young.

Juvenile Mourning Doves look like the parents except for a little white at the end of each feather and a lack of iridescent feathers.
 
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