Mourning Doves

The mourning dove may very well be the very first bird that ever entered my consciousness, and it came as a sad song through the open windows of our little brick home. The song of the mourning dove is one of my very earliest memories.  When I hear the “hollow coah, cooo, cooo, cooo” (Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds east of the Rockies) of the dove, it transports me back to a very early place in my mind.

Most people don’t make a big fuss over seeing a mourning dove. The mourning dove’s colors are not flashy, although if you look closely, they have a hint of pink on their breasts. And their black markings are notable.

Mourning dove - January 14, 2012

The mourning dove is a ground-feeder, eating what other birds fling to the side or drop out of the feeder. In this case, the birds are eating what I put on the deck railing. They’re easy to photograph because they are calm and placid and stay put for a while.

A row of doves - January 14, 2012

The mourning dove blends in with the winter wooded scenery in their muted colors. But they do make a flash when you catch them in flight and  about to land. If I manage to do that, I will add the photo later. So far, no luck.

Two doves and a sparrow - January 14, 2012

You can just see the colorful underside of the dove’s tail in the above photo. It’s striking in flight.

Mourning dove - January 14, 2012

Like people, I suppose, the birds who lack pizzazz sometimes are taken for granted a s they fade into the background. If we take the time to look closely, we find their true beauty.


For more bird photos, see my bird page under the wildlife tab above.

26 thoughts on “Mourning Doves”

  1. Those are beautiful pictures of the mourning dove. I agree with you that they often go unnoticed because they are not brilliant like some of the other birds out there. Their song can be a little annoying if you are trying to sleep……ask my husband. 🙂

    1. I guess their song could be a little annoying. I don’t really hear them around here much. I used to hear them all the time growing up. Maybe we had our windows open more. I’m sure we did.

      I almost didn’t post them today because I built up expectations for this great wildlife week and . . .mourning doves? But I was short on time, and for some reason had already written that post, so I put it up. And sometimes I think we should pay more notice to things like mourning doves that aren’t brilliant.

  2. These pictures are so beautiful. I love the sound of mourning doves. I don’t know that I’ve every paid attention to their delicate beauty. Thanks you for opening my eyes again this morning.

  3. What a coincidence — guess what bird is on my feeder right now, just before I read this post! And maybe you remember my tweets last spring about the pair nesting in our porch eaves?They are so beautiful in such a subtle way.

  4. You are getting an expert with your snaps of wild life Christine, we have collared doves here and lots of Wood Pigeons.. We can always tell when its getting colder and food sparse, as the wood pigeons come out of the woods to find scraps left near the bird feeders

  5. I love mourning doves. Sometimes when i see them marching across the lane-way here, they remind me of little old ladies on their way to the shops! I’m also impressed because they rule the Blue Jays!!

  6. One of my favorite birds, their peaceful song and demeanor. Blending into the background is good for survival. They are usually the last birds to leave when a hawk is nearby.

  7. Beautiful photos. The mourning dove is one of my favorite birds. Although it’s here year-round, it always reminds me of summer. I think that’s because windows would be open in the summer months and the sound would drift in first thing in the morning (before the blue jays started squawking). Like you, I think it’s the first bird of memory for me (even though one might think it would be the bird I was named after).

    1. That’s funny, what you said about being named for a bird. I have always just read your name as a woman’s name. Now I will forever think of you as a robin. 🙂

      Were you really named for the bird?

      1. I was. My father said it was because of my red hair. At that time, not many girls were named Robin. It was a boy’s name. When I was in school the only other Robin I knew was a boy. And we shared the same birthday. Weird.


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