Bird Sounds and Songs of the Mourning Dove | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Bird Sounds: Mourning Doves

Primary Image

A mourning dove rests on a warm rock.

Photo Credit
Photo by US Fish and Wildlife via Wikimedia Commons

Mourning Dove Calls

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The mourning dove, with its soft coo and graceful flight, is a familiar sight and sound across North America. This gentle bird, found in backyards, parks, and open fields, holds a special place in the hearts of many. Whether you’re an aspiring birdwatcher or simply curious about these ubiquitous feathered neighbors, dive into the fascinating world of the mourning dove!

Mourning Doves: More Than Just a Pretty Face

  • The Most Widespread Bird in North America: Mourning doves boast an impressive population exceeding 350 million across the continent, making them the most abundant game bird and a common backyard visitor.
  • Identify Mourning Doves: Look for their slender grey bodies, long tails, and the black spots adorning their wings. Their gentle cooing call is also a helpful identifier.
  • Unexpectedly Fast Flyers: Don’t underestimate these seemingly unassuming birds! Reaching speeds of up to 55 mph, mourning doves are swift fliers, capable of impressive bursts of speed during courtship displays and evading predators.
  • Masters of Adaptability: These resourceful birds thrive in diverse habitats, from deserts to woodlands to urban parks. Their diet of seeds and grains allows them to flourish in a variety of environments.
  • A Symphony of Coos: The mourning dove’s signature call, a mournful yet strangely comforting coo, is a familiar sound in backyards and natural areas. This vocalization plays a crucial role in attracting mates and defending territories.
    Beyond the Backyard:
  • Cultural Significance: Mourning doves have earned a place in folklore and traditions across North America. Native American tribes revered them as symbols of peace and hope, while their cooing often found its way into poetry and music.
  • Conservation Concerns: While abundant overall, localized populations can face threats from habitat loss and pesticide use. Understanding these challenges and supporting conservation efforts helps ensure the future of this beloved bird.

Attracting Mourning Doves

You can attract Mourning Doves to your garden by providing access to water sources and planting native seed-bearing plants like sunflowers and millet. Open platforms or ground feeders filled with seeds like safflower and corn will offer a tasty invitation.

More Than Just a Name

The mourning dove’s name may evoke melancholy, but this adaptable and captivating bird embodies resilience and grace. Whether you’re observing their graceful flight or listening to their soothing calls, appreciate the presence of these feathered neighbors and learn more about their vital role in our ecosystem.

Click here to listen to the sounds of other birds!

Have you heard a Mourning Dove? Add your comments below. Be sure to let us know where you live or where you’ve heard this bird sound before!

About The Author

Heidi Stonehill

Heidi Stonehill is a senior editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, where she focuses much of her time on managing content development for the Almanac’s line of calendars. Read More from Heidi Stonehill

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