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Birds on the Beargrass: Mourning Dove

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

The mourning dove is one of the most common game birds in North America. The oldest recorded age for a mourning dove is 31 years. Mourning doves mostly eat seeds, making up 99% of their diet. Mourning doves eat up to 20% of their body weight every day.

Quick Facts about the Mourning Dove

  • The Mourning Dove is one of the most abundant and widespread birds in North America.

  • These birds are prolific breeders, capable of producing up to twelve chicks in a single breeding season.

  • Mourning Doves are great fliers, able to reach speeds up to 55 miles per hour!

  • The sound they make when they take off is actually produced by their wings, rather than an actual vocalization

  • The Mourning Doves main predators include birds of prey such as falcons or hawks, as well as domestic cats.

  • These birds can often be seen sunbathing and enjoying rainwater. They are also known to take dust baths as well.

  • Seeds make up the vast majority of their diet, although they occasionally will eat insects and snails.

  • Mourning Doves mate for life. Males do most of the nest building, but have been known to take over other bird and squirrel nests.

  • Young Mourning Doves are ready to leave the nest fifteen days after hatching. They can even live up to thirty one years old!


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