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Zenaida macroura L 12 ½ " WS 18" WT 4.2 OZ (120g)
A long, tapered tail enhances the slender profile of this cool brown and pinkish dove. An irregular smattering of black spots dots the coverts and secondary wing feathers. Males usually are bluer on the crown and nape than females but there is some overlap. Breeding pairs can sometimes be sexed by plumage, but in larger flocks it is not reliable and young males are inseparable from females. Feet are bright reddish pink; the flesh around the eye is turquoise.
Mourning doves occupy most habitats in North America and have been found nesting to 10,000 feet in western mountains. Although they stay in pairs during the nesting season, they travel in flocks of a dozen to several hundred during other seasons. Immatures begin flocking together in summer, and adults join these flocks as they finish breeding. Flocks move between agricultural fields, where waste grain and weed seeds abound, but often frequent suburban yards and especially feeding stations. There is a large general migratory movement southward in autumn, but many birds are resident throughout the winter even in the northern plains states and southern Canada.
The male's song is a low, mournful oooah, ooh, ooh, ooh , easily imitated by whistling through cupped hands. Females may coo softly in reply. The alarm call is a rough Whoo!
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Author: Bird Watcher's Digest
Copyright2010 Bird Watcher's Digest