Contact | Birds of North America

Birds of North America, Vagrant Visitors, Introduced Birds and Possibilities

Mourning Dove

Tourterelle triste

Zenaida macroura

Enter Bird's Name in Search Box:



Species; The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura), is a commonly seen dove, found on over two thirds of North America Continent. Identified by it long pointy tail and wings, and what appears to be a small head. This dove is a regular visitor to the backyard feeders, seen feeding, both on the ground under bird feeders, or on platform feeders, where it has proper footing. Prefers open country, not a forest bird. Is considered a gamebird in many US states. Harvested in the high millions every year, population does not seem threatened. Protected in other states and in Canada, preserved as a song bird.

Distinctions; Male and females are similar, with little apparent difference. Male has iridescent blue and pink showing on nape of neck, iridescent pink on side of neck, clear black line, located at the base of lower cheeks, blue orbital eye ring, individual black markings on coverts and tertials, white tips on out tail feathers, darker primaries and secondaries, when seen in flight, has a light grey, buffy under body, darker grayish brown upper body, red feet. Female is similar to male, iridescent not as evidence. Juvenile appears scaly, darker tone.

Voice; Males calls out through the seasons, vocal sound like oowoo-woo-woo.

Nesting; Two to three white eggs, multiple broods per year, higher reproduction in southern regions. Nest built in shrubs, hedges and trees. Built from available materials, twigs and grasses.

Birds of North America
B L W W W Family Latin Name
12" 30.5cm 18" 45.7cm 4.2oz 119.1g Columbidae Zenaida macroura

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Distribution; Common summer breeders from Nova Scotia, west, through all the southern regions of the Canadian provinces to British Columbia. Year around breeder through most of the US states, except an area of the northern mid-west, from California to Florida, with an apparent likness to the warmer climates. Seen throughout the Mexican landscapes, does prefer an open country setting, and many of the Caribbean Islands.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database

ABA - American Birding Association

AOS - The American Ornitholgy Society

ABC - American Bird Conservancy

eBird - TheCornellLab of Ornithology

NA - National Geographic

NAC - National Audubon Society

Classic Collection of North American Birds