Mourning Dove

A gentle and entertaining nester, the Mourning Dove raises as many as five broods each year! The whistling noise it emits when taking flight is made when the outer wing feathers beat the air.


Roland Jordahl
Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove
Sandra Schumer
Mourning Dove, adult and nestling


Mourning Dove models
models Mourning Dove

Scientific Name: Zenaida macroura.
Family: Pigeon.
Length: 12 inches.
Wingspan: 18 inches.
Distinctive Markings: Smooth brownish gray with some black markings, both sexes have a long, pointed tail with white edges that is conspicuous in flight.
Nest: Builds a loose, flimsy platform of sticks, usually in a tree or large shrub, where it lays two pure-white eggs.
Voice: Mournful cooing song of five to seven notes: “coo-ah, cooo, cooo, coo.”
Habitat:  Widespread in farmland, residential areas, open woods, orchards, roadside, prairies, deserts.
Diet: Seeds and plant materials.
Backyard Favorites: Tray feeder filled with wild birdseed mix or cracked corn; birdbaths.

Bird Song & Range Map

Listen to the Mourning Dove’s song and learn where to spot them!

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Mourning Dove Bird SpeciesRange maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.