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Zenaida macroura

Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura
Zenaida macroura macroura 44.jpg
Zenaida macroura ('Mourning Dove')
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclass: Gnathostomata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Aves
Superorder: Psittacimorphae
Order: Columbiformes
Suborder: Columbae
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Zenaida
Series: Amniota
Species: Z. macroura
Binomial name
Zenaida macroura
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Vernacular Names

  • Catalan, Valencian: Tortoreta cuallarga
  • Chinese: 哀鸽
  • Czech: Hrdlička karolinská
  • Dutch: Treurduif
  • English: American Mourning Dove · Carolina Dove · moaning dove · Mourning Dove · Mourning Dove (Mainland) · Turtle Dove · wild dove · wood dove
  • Esperanto: Plorturto
  • French: tourterelle triste
  • German: Carolinataube · Trauertaube
  • Hungarian: Sirató gerle
  • Italian: Tortora lamentosa americana
  • Japanese: ナゲキバト
  • Polish: Gołębiak karoliński
  • Russian: Плачущая горлица
  • Spanish: Paloma huilota · Paloma Lúgubre · Zenaida Huilota
  • Spanish, Castilian: Paloma huilota
  • Swedish: Spetsstjärtad duva
  • Vietnamese: Bồ câu bi ai


In Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

The mourning dove is a medium-sized, slender dove approximately 31 cm (12 in) in length. Mourning doves weigh 112–170 g (4.0–6.0 oz), usually closer to 128 g (4.5 oz).[1] The elliptical wings are broad, and the head is rounded. Its tail is long and tapered ("macroura" comes from the Greek words for "large" and "tail"[2]). Mourning doves have perching feet, with three toes forward and one reversed. The legs are short and reddish colored. The beak is short and dark, usually a brown-black hue.[3] The plumage is generally light gray-brown and lighter and pinkish below. The wings have black spotting, and the outer tail feathers are white, contrasting with the black inners. Below the eye is a distinctive crescent-shaped area of dark feathers. The eyes are dark, with light skin surrounding them.[3] The adult male has bright purple-pink patches on the neck sides, with light pink coloring reaching the breast. The crown of the adult male is a distinctly bluish-grey color. Females are similar in appearance, but with more brown coloring overall and a little smaller than the male. The iridescent feather patches on the neck above the shoulders are nearly absent, but can be quite vivid on males. Juvenile birds have a scaly appearance, and are generally darker.[3] All five subspecies of the mourning dove look similar and are not easily distinguishable.[3] The nominate subspecies possesses shorter wings, and is darker and more buff-colored than the "average" mourning dove. Z. m. carolinensis has longer wings and toes, a shorter beak, and is darker in color. The western subspecies has longer wings, a longer beak, shorter toes, and is more muted and lighter in color. The Panama mourning dove has shorter wings and legs, a longer beak, and is grayer in color. The Clarion Island subspecies possesses larger feet, a larger beak, and is darker brown in color.[4]

Medium-sized, somewhat slender dove with very thin neck, small head, long tail. Black bill. Sexes similar, but adult male a little more colorful, with a pale rosy breast rather than the female's tan breast.


Head: pinkish fawn Size: small Face: Cheeks: brownish-gray with small black spot Neck: pinkish fawn Body: Underparts: pinkish fawn Tail: brownish-gray with white tips on outer feathers Length: long Shape: pointed.

Similar Species

The mourning dove is a related species to the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), which was hunted to extinction in the early 1900s.[5][6][7] For this reason, the possibility of using mourning doves for cloning the passenger pigeon has been discussed.[8]

Similar speciesRaces Similar appearance to:

Eurasian Collared Dove, White-Winged Dove Subspecies:


Overall Color: brownish-gray Head: pinkish fawn Neck: pinkish fawn Tail: brownish-gray with white tips on outer feathers Wings: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing

Adult: Pale buff-brown head, neck, breast, and belly · Purple and green iridescence on neck · Small black mark on lower neck · Medium brown back and upperwings, with large black spots on coverts · Long tail is pointed at tip · Dark brown tail with white tips to outer four tail feathers

Juvenile: Dark brown mottled head neck and breast · Scaly neck and upperwings with numerous black spots on coverts and scapulars · Pale belly · Medium length tail is pointed at tip


  • Body: Lower Belly: brownish-gray Upper Belly: brownish-gray Breast: brownish-gray Chest: brownish-gray Flanks: brownish-gray Sides: brownish-gray Under Parts: pinkish fawn
  • Face: Cheeks: brownish-gray with small black spot Forehead: brownish-gray Lores: brownish-gray Malar: brownish-gray Supraloral: brownish-gray
  • Head: Crown: pinkish fawn Ear Coverts: pinkish fawn Size: small
  • Neck: Foreneck: pinkish fawn Hindneck: pinkish fawn Nape: pinkish fawn Sides: pinkish fawn Throat: pinkish fawn
  • Wings: Forewings: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing Greater Coverts: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing Primaries: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing Primary Coverts: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing Scapulars: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing Secondaries: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing Secondary Coverts: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing Shoulders: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing Tertials: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing Upper Scapulars: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing Upperwing Coverts: brownish-gray, with a few black spots on upper, inner wing
  • Tail: Length: long Shape: pointed Undertail Coverts: brownish-gray with white tips on outer feathers Uppertail Coverts: brownish-gray with white tips on outer feathers


About 12 inches long, with a wingspan of 17 to 19 inches. Adults weigh about 4.3 ounces. The expected life span for an adult is about one year. The probability of surviving another year is a little higher for adults than juveniles.

Length: 12 inches. Wingspan: 17—19 inches. Weight: 4.3 ounces.


Like other columbids, the mourning dove drinks by suction, without lifting or tilting its head. It often gathers at drinking spots around dawn and dusk. Mourning doves sunbathe or rainbathe by lying on the ground or on a flat tree limb, leaning over, stretching one wing, and keeping this posture for up to twenty minutes. These birds can also waterbathe in shallow pools or bird baths. Dustbathing is common as well.

Pair of doves in late winter in Minnesota

Outside the breeding season, mourning doves roost communally in dense deciduous trees or in conifers. During sleep, the head rests between the shoulders, close to the body; it is not tucked under the shoulder feathers as in many other species. During the winter in Canada, roosting flights to the roosts in the evening, and out of the roosts in the morning, are delayed on colder days.[9]

Prefers flight over walking, and walks (or runs) rather than hops. Prefers to walk on open ground, and avoids dense cover.

Lacks a preen gland, and maintains luster and waterproofs of its feathers by preening, rubbing the dust from the powder-down feathers which grow throughout its plumage.

Mourning Doves enjoy a bath in shallow pools. They'll walk in to a depth where the water is just touching their bellies, squat, spread their wings, and raise all of their feathers, allowing the water to reach their skin. They may then use their bills to splash water. When finished, they'll fly to a perch to preen and sunbathe.

During a rain, may extend a wing, raise their feathers, and bend over, to allow the rain to seep into their skin. If bathing is not desired, they'll keep their feathers clamped close to their bodies.

Likely to offer a greeting when approaching another, in which both partially folded wings are raised over the back.

Stretches often, raising one folded wing over the back while extending the same-side leg back.

During breeding season, the nest site and cooing perches are defended by the male chasing away interlopers, including Robins and potential nest predators such as Blue Jays. Nest sites are selected by the male after pairing. The territorial defense ends immediately upon fledging, and Mourning Doves resume their gregariousness.

Pairs will often be in close proximity, especially on sleeping and loafing perches, and perform allogrooming. Unpaired birds keep a greater distance from others, and do not allogroom. Allopreening focuses on the area of the body that the bird cannot reach to groom themselves: the head and upper neck. Contact in this part of the body seems to be pleasurable, whereas contact elsewhere is usually rebuffed. Allopreening helps to break and remove the sheath of new itchy pin feathers, and removes ectoparasites from this sensitive area.

In general, the preening, bathing, showering, greeting, stretching, territorial defense, spacing and allogrooming of Mourning Doves resemble that of <a href="http://zipcodezoo.com/animals/n/nymphicus_hollandicus/">Cockatiels</a> and many other birds, and we wonder if these behaviors are common to all in the Superorder <a href="http://zipcodezoo.com/Key/Animalia/Psittacimorphae_Superorder.asp">Psittacimorphae</a>.

When two Mourning Doves are seen in flight, they are often a pair. When three are seen, they are sometimes an intruder, chased by a male, who is followed by his partner.


Almost exclusively seeds from both cultivated and wild plants. Prefers to feed on the ground, where seed has fallen and is easy to find. May prefer the seed under bird feeders to the seed in them, and prefers platform feeders to other types. Eats quickly, filling crop, and then digests food later at loafing or roosting sites. Consumes seeds of grasses, spurges, goosefoots, saltbushes, composites, ragweeds, pokeweed, poppies, amaranths, smartweeds, hemp, purslanes, and pines, as well as seed from cultivated sunflowers, corn, wheat, grain sorghum, millet, buckwheat, barley, and peanuts. Grit is important, perhaps providing calcium to compensate for the negative calcium:phosphorous ratio in sunflower seeds and other seed in their diet. Prefers to drink from surface water in unvegetated areas, where they can see approaching predators. Can drink by suction, without lifting and tilting their heads. Mourning Doves can get by on brackish water, theough they may lose weight if it is too salty.


Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

Courtship begins with a noisy flight by the male, followed by a graceful, circular glide with outstretched wings and head down. After landing, the male will approach the female with a puffed-out breast, bobbing head, and loud calls. Mated pairs will often preen each other's feathers.[10] The male then leads the female to potential nest sites, and the female will choose one. The female dove builds the nest. The male will fly about, gather material, and bring it to her. The male will stand on the female's back and give the material to the female, who then builds it into the nest.[11] The nest is constructed of twigs, conifer needles, or grass blades, and is of flimsy construction.[4] Mourning doves will sometimes requisition the unused nests of other mourning doves, other birds, or arboreal mammals such as squirrels.[12] Most nests are in trees, both deciduous and coniferous. Sometimes, they can be found in shrubs, vines, or on artificial constructs like buildings,[4] or hanging flower pots.[11] When there is no suitable elevated object, mourning doves will nest on the ground.[4] See link below for: courtship dance and mating. The clutch size is almost always two eggs.[11] Occasionally, however, a female will lay her eggs in the nest of another pair, leading to three or four eggs in the nest.[13] The eggs are white, 6.6 ml (0.23 imp fl oz; 0.22 US fl oz), 2.57–2.96 cm (1.01–1.17 in) long, 2.06–2.30 cm (0.81–0.91 in) wide, 6–7 g (0.21–0.25 oz) at laying (5–6% of female body mass). Both sexes incubate, the male from morning to afternoon, and the female the rest of the day and at night. Mourning doves are devoted parents; nests are very rarely left unattended by the adults.[11] When flushed from the nest, an incubating parent may perform a nest-distraction display, or a broken-wing display, fluttering on the ground as if injured, then flying away when the predator approaches it.

Hatching and growth
Mourning Dove Egg.JPG Mourning Dove Nesting 20060630.JPG Mourning Dove Chicks 20060701.JPG Zenaida macroura2.jpg
Egg in nest Nesting in progress Squabs A juvenile

Incubation takes two weeks. The hatched young, called squabs, are strongly altricial, being helpless at hatching and covered with down.[11] Both parents feed the squabs pigeon's milk (dove's milk) for the first 3–4 days of life. Thereafter, the crop milk is gradually augmented by seeds. Fledging takes place in about 11–15 days, before the squabs are fully grown but after they are capable of digesting adult food.[12] They stay nearby to be fed by their father for up to two weeks after fledging.[10] Mourning doves are prolific breeders. In warmer areas, these birds may raise up to six broods in a season.[10] This fast breeding is essential because mortality is high. Each year, mortality can reach 58% a year for adults and 69% for the young.[13] The mourning dove is monogamous and forms strong pair bonds.[13] Pairs typically reconvene in the same area the following breeding season, and sometimes may remain together throughout the winter. However, lone doves will find new partners if necessary.

  • Breeding Habitat: Urban
  • Clutch Size: 2
  • Length of Incubation: 13-14 days
  • Days to Fledge: 12-14
  • Number of Broods: 2-3, occasionally 3-6

Nests in shrubs and trees, and if not available, on the ground. Sometimes Mourning Doves will nest in a small depression directly on the ground. Preferred sites have some flat surface for the nest, and some surrounding vegetation. Conifers are chosen until leaves appear in deciduous trees.

Nests are built in 2 to 4 days if built fresh, or may be adapted from existing nests of Mourning Doves and other birds. The male brings pine needles, twigs, grass and other materials to the nest, stands on the female's back and gives the material to her. She arranges the stuff around her body, making a flimsy bowl. The nest provides no insulation or protection from the weather, but does serve to keep the eggs together.

Eggs are white, without marking. The first is usually laid two days after the nest has been completed. Two are normally laid, and nests with 4 may be the result of "dump nesting" by other females.

At hatching, nestlings are altricial, with closed eyes and sparse cream-colored down. They cannot thermoregulate, and can barely hold their heads up.

Brooding usually begins when the second egg has been laid. Neither parent develops a brood patch, and both parents incubate, with dad taking the day shift. Nestlings hatch about two weeks after eggs are laid, and fledge in another two weeks. Only by the time of fledging can the nestlings completely thermoregulate.

Nestlings are initially fed crop milk by both parents, and seeds begin supplementing the milk by days 5 or 6. Initially the female feeds more than the male, but by the 12th day, the male feeding role increases. Fledging occurs at about two weeks, and fathers care for the fledglings for another two weeks after they leave the nest. Dad "perch coos", and the fledglings respond to his voice, learned while nestling, by begging, which helps Dad find the kids. In a nestling's first week, fecal pellets are eaten by parents, which help parents with the demands of crop milk production. In the second week, feces may foul the nest.

During the breeding season, the pair remain close to each other. As nestlings become ready to fledge, copulation increases, and eggs are sometimes laid in the same nest soon after the previous batch has left -- sometimes even before. About a month is needed physiologically between the initiation of clutches. This cycle continues throughout the breeding season, which can begin in February and stretch into October, or last year-round in the southern parts of the range. Pairs last throughout the breeding season, sometimes through the year, sometimes for multiple years.

Sexual maturity is reached at an early age: 80 days for males, 90 days for females. Males and females will breed in the calendar year of their birth if day length remains sufficient (about 12.5 hours or more), there is enough food, and weather is favorable.

Many factors help shorten nesting cycles and increase the number of offspring per year:

  • small, simple nests, and reuse of old nests
  • shared role in nest contruction and brooding.
  • small eggs
  • fast nestling growth from crop milk, abundant in the male parent, reduced in the female
  • early fledging, and early sexual maturity
  • clutch/brood overlap. High fecundity helps offset high mortality from predation, hunting, and from bad weather (which can account for a third of all losses of nestlings and fledglings.).


Most mourning doves migrate along flyways over land. On rare occasions, mourning doves have been seen flying over the Gulf of Mexico, but this is exceptional. Spring migration north runs from March to May. Fall migration south runs from September to November, with immatures moving first, followed by adult females and then by adult males.[14] Migration is usually during the day, in flocks, and at low altitudes.[10] However, not all individuals migrate. Even in Canada some mourning doves remain through winter, sustained by the presence of bird feeders.

Migration depends on winter climate: those in the north completely migrate, those in the south do not migrate, and those in between are partial migrants. Migration in the fall and spring my be triggered by local temperature and prevailing wind, food availability, and photoperiod. Migration is primarily diurnal, with flocks stopping often to feed and relax. Migration may usually avoid large bodies of water, though some have been observed flying over the Gulf of Mexico or between Florida and Cuba.


Flight Pattern: Direct Wing Beat Rate: fast Wing Beat Rate Variability: steady Wing Stroke Length: deep

Habitat and Ecology


The mourning dove occupies a wide variety of open and semi-open habitats, such as urban areas, farms, prairie, grassland, and lightly wooded areas. It avoids swamps and thick forest.[10] The species has adapted well to areas altered by humans. They commonly nest in trees in cities or near farmsteads.

Adult and squabs in cactus-protected nest, High Desert (California)

Habitat: arid lowland scrubs, pastures and agricultural lands, arid lowland scrubs, second-growth scrub, tropical lowland evergreen forest, second-growth forests and woodlands, tropical deciduous forests, arid lowland scrubs, arid montane scrubs Preferred Elevation: 0—3200 meters. 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry, 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry, 3.7. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude, 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls), 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls), 5.9. Wetlands (inland) - Freshwater Springs and Oases, 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land, 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land, 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland, 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens, 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest.[15]


Mourning doves eat almost exclusively seeds, which make up more than 99% of their diet.[11] Rarely, they will eat snails or insects. Mourning doves generally eat enough to fill their crops and then fly away to digest while resting. They often swallow grit such as fine gravel or sand to assist with digestion. The species usually forages on the ground, walking but not hopping.[10] At bird feeders, mourning doves are attracted to one of the largest ranges of seed types of any North American bird, with a preference for canola, corn, millet, safflower, and sunflower seeds. Mourning doves do not dig or scratch for seeds, though they will push aside ground litter; instead they eat what is readily visible.[4][11] They will sometimes perch on plants and eat from there.[10] Mourning doves show a preference for the seeds of certain species of plant over others. Foods taken in preference to others include pine nuts, sweetgum seeds, and the seeds of pokeberry, amaranth, canary grass, corn, sesame, and wheat.[4] When their favorite foods are absent, mourning doves will eat the seeds of other plants, including buckwheat, rye, goosegrass and smartweed.[4] Mourning doves can be afflicted with several different parasites and diseases, including tapeworms, nematodes, mites, and lice. The mouth-dwelling parasite Trichomonas gallinae is particularly severe. While a mourning dove will sometimes host it without symptoms, it will often cause yellowish growth in the mouth and esophagus that will eventually starve the host to death. Avian pox is a common, insect-vectored disease.[16] The primary predators of this species are diurnal birds of prey, such as falcons and hawks. During nesting, corvids, grackles, housecats, or rat snakes will prey on their eggs.[13] Cowbirds rarely parasitize mourning dove nests. Mourning doves reject slightly under a third of cowbird eggs in such nests, and the mourning dove's vegetarian diet is unsuitable for cowbirds.[17]


<a href="http://ZipcodeZoo.com/excavata/t/Trichomonas_gallinae">Trichomonas gallinae</a>, the protozoan that causes trichomoniasis, is likely the leading cause of mortality in Mourning Doves. Other troubles include Avian pox, a virus.



Predators take a heavy toll on Mourning Doves. Most common predators of adults include raptors such as falcons and accipiters, raccoons, dogs and cats, and <a href="http://zipcodezoo.com/Animals/E/Elaphe_obsoleta/">Rat Snakes</a>. Eggs and nestlings often fall victim to <a href="http://zipcodezoo.com/Animals/C/Cyanocitta_cristata/">Blue Jays</a>, <a href="http://zipcodezoo.com/animals/s/sciurus_niger/">Fox Squirrels</a>, and cats.

Human hunters "harvest" about 1 million Mourning Doves each year in the U.S., and many more are killed indirectly by hunters, when the birds swallow lead pellets found on the ground.


Name Status

Name Status: Accepted Name.1

Last scrutiny: 26-May-2005
Some taxonomic info derived from IOC.[18]


In Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico

The mourning dove has a large range of nearly 11,000,000 km2 (4,200,000 sq mi).[19] The species is resident throughout the Greater Antilles, most of Mexico, the Continental United States, and southern Canada. Much of the Canadian prairie sees these birds in summer only, and southern Central America sees them in winter only.[14] The species is a vagrant in northern Canada, Alaska,[10] and South America.[20] It has been spotted as an accidental at least seven times in the Western Palearctic with records from the British Isles (5), the Azores (1) and Iceland (1).[3] In 1963, the mourning dove was introduced to Hawaii, and in 1998 there was still a small population in North Kona.[21] The mourning dove also appeared on Socorro Island, off the western coast of Mexico, in 1988, sixteen years after the Socorro dove was extirpated from that island.[22]

  • Native: Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States
  • Vagrant: Greenland, United Kingdom[23] Breeding range: NA, MA widespread
  • Reported here: Algeria, Antarctica, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Cameroon, Canada:Ontario, Cayman Islands, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Mexico:Chihuahua, Mexico:Hidalgo, Mexico:Sinaloa, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sweden, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom, United States, Wallis and Futuna Islands.
  • Population Trend: Increasing

Map showing distribution of observations of Zenaida macroura.




Juvenile Zenaida macroura Dove hiding in the bushes. Recordist: Ksurfiws Terms of use.
The Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) are back! The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is also called the Western Turtle Dove or the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove. Recordist: Arguinto Terms of use.


This species' call is a distinctive, plaintive cooOOoo-woo-woo-woooo, uttered by males to attract females, and may be mistaken for the call of an owl at first. (Close up, a grating or throat-rattling sound may be heard preceding the first coo.) Other sounds include a nest call (cooOOoo) by paired males to attract their mates to the nest sites, a greeting call (a soft ork) by males upon rejoining their mates, and an alarm call (a short roo-oo) by either male or female when threatened. In flight, the wings make a fluttery whistling sound that is hard to hear. The wing whistle is much louder and more noticeable upon take-off and landing.[3]

Song, Wing Whistles. One natural song and then flight sounds from a bird about 6m up on a powerline over street in suburb. Background sounds: * American Robin (Turdus migratorius)· * Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)· * Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)· * House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)· * Molothrus aterSpizella passerina· Date recorded: May 19, 2013. Latitude: 40.043 Longitude: -76.345 Elevation: 295 feet. Location: W Lancaster, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania USA. Citation: Dan Lane, XC134188. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/134188. ©Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0}
Wing Whirr. All recordings from 21 Jun 2012 were made with a 26" Teilinga parabolic mic on loan from the ML (my first time using such a mic). Habitat is semi-arid montane woodland. Background sounds: none Date recorded: June 21, 2012. Latitude: 39.6788 Longitude: -120.3144 Elevation: 4921 feet. Location: Antelope Valley, Sierra County, California USA. Citation: Eric DeFonso, XC131560. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/131560. ©Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0}
Song. Natural cooing song. Bird perched in neighboring tree - recorded from residential backyard. Filtered below 150 Hz to remove distant ambient street noise. Background sounds: * Red-crowned Amazon (Amazona viridigenalis)· * American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)· * House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)· Date recorded: June 29, 2012. Latitude: 34.1966 Longitude: -118.1334 Elevation: 1509 feet. Location: Altadena residence, Los Angeles Cty., California USA. Citation: Eric DeFonso, XC131448. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/131448. ©Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0}
Call. Background sounds: * Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)· * Common Ground Dove (Columbina passerina)· Date recorded: April 14, 2013. Latitude: 28.0649 Longitude: -82.8278 Location: Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin, Pinellas, Florida USA. Citation: Mike Nelson, XC130937. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/130937. ©Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0}
Call. Tried to cut out the Carolina Wren the sang over the top of this. Background sounds: * Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)· * Common Ground Dove (Columbina passerina)· * Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)· Date recorded: April 13, 2013. Latitude: 27.5597 Longitude: -81.0127 Elevation: 66 feet. Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve, Okeechobee, Florida USA. Citation: Mike Nelson, XC130936. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/130936. ©Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0}
Call. Sitting 10m directly above me in a tree bordering the parking lot. Background sounds: * Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)· Date recorded: March 31, 2013. Latitude: 44.8298 Longitude: -93.2462 Elevation: 722 feet. Location: Minnesota Valley NWR, Old Cedar Ave Bridge, Hennepin, MN USA. Citation: Jonathon Jongsma, XC128006. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/128006. ©Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0}
Date recorded: May 01, 1997. Location: Long Island. Citation: ©[ ]}
Date recorded: May 01, 1997. Location: Long Island. Citation: ©[ ]}
Date recorded: May 01, 1997. Location: Long Island. Citation: ©[ ]}
Date recorded: December 30, 1899. Citation: ©[For more information, visit http://askabiologist.asu.edu/birdsongs target=_blank>Ask a Biologist</a>. Pierre Deviche]}

To explore 59 audio recordings of Zenaida macroura, click here.


File:Zenaida macrouraAWP17AA.jpg
Audubon's Carolina pigeon

The number of individual mourning doves is estimated to be approximately 475 million.[24] The large population and its vast range explain why the mourning dove is considered to be of least concern, meaning that the species is not at immediate risk.[19] As a gamebird, the mourning dove is well-managed, with more than 20 million (and up to 40–70 million) shot by hunters each year.[25]

IUCN Assessment:

  • Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
  • Assessor (s): BirdLife International
  • Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
  • Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S.
  • Justification:
    This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size i[26]

Heritage Status: G5

More Information


  • GBIF: TaxonID: 2495347 TaxonKey: 13544898
  • Heritage Identifier: ABNPB04040
  • ITIS: 177125
  • IUCN ID: 22690736
  • Namebank ID: 9417
  • SP2000 Accepted Name Code: ITS-177125
  • ZipcodeZoo CritterID: 178104


  1. Miller, Wilmer J. (1969-01-16). "The biology and Natural History of the Mourning Dove". Retrieved 2008-04-14. Mourning doves weigh 4–6 ounces, usually close to the lesser weight. 
  2. Borror, D.J. (1960). "Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms". Palo Alto: National Press Books. ISBN 0-87484-053-8. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Jonathan Alderfer (ed.). "National Geographic Complete Birds of North America". p. 303. ISBN 0-7922-4175-4. 
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NRCS_p3
  5. Facts. Save The Doves. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  6. The Biology and natural history of the Mourning Dove. Ringneckdove.com. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  7. The Mourning Dove in Missouri. the Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri (1990) mdc.mo.gov
  8. Cloning Extinct Species, Part II. Tiger_spot.mapache.org. Retrieved on 2013-03-23.
  9. Doucette, D.R. & Reebs, S.G. (1994). "Influence of temperature and other factors on the daily roosting times of Mourning Doves in winter". Canadian Journal of Zoology 72 (7): 1287–1290. doi:10.1139/z94-171. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 Kaufman, Kenn (1996). "Lives of North American Birds". Houghton Mifflin. p. 293. ISBN 0-395-77017-3. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 "Mourning Dove". Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Retrieved 2006-10-18. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 NRCS p. 4
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 NRCS p. 1
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)" (PDF). Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management leaflet 31<span /> (National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS)): 2. February 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-08. 
  15. BirdLife International 2012. Zenaida macroura. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded 28 March 2015.
  16. NRCS p. 6
  17. Peer, Brian & Bollinger, Eric (1998). "Rejection of Cowbird eggs by Mourning Doves: A manifestation of nest usurpation?" (PDF). The Auk 115 (4): 1057–1062. doi:10.2307/4089523. 
  18. International Ornithologists’ Committee. IOC World Bird List 5.2 doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.5.2 link
  19. 19.0 19.1 Birdlife International. "Mourning Dove – BirdLife Species Factsheet". Retrieved 2006-10-08. 
  20. South American Classification Committee American Ornithologists' Union. "Part 3. Columbiformes to Caprimulgiformes". A classification of the bird species of South America. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved 2006-10-11. 
  21. "Check-list of North American Birds" (PDF). American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. p. 224. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  22. "Check-list of North American Birds" (PDF). American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. p. 225. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  23. BirdLife International 2012. Zenaida macroura. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded 28 March 2015.
  24. Mirarchi, R.E., and Baskett, T.S. 1994. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura). In The Birds of North America, No. 117 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, DC: The American Ornithologists' Union.
  25. Sadler, K.C. (1993) Mourning Dove harvest. In Ecology and management of the Mourning Dove (T.S. Baskett, M.W. Sayre, R.E. Tomlinson, and R.E. Mirarchi, eds.) Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, ISBN 0811719405.
  26. BirdLife International 2012. Zenaida macroura. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded 28 March 2015.


  • IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at:IUCNRedList.org (Accessed: 19 June 2012).
  • Murphy-Klassen, H. M.; Underwood, T. J.; Sealy, S. G.; Czyrny, A. A. 2005. Long-term trends in spring arrival dates of migrant birds at Delta Marsh, Manitoba, in relation to climate change. iThe Auk/i 122: 1130-1148.
  • Rich, T.D.; Beardmore, C.J.; Berlanga, H.; Blancher, P.J.; Bradstreet, M.S.W.; Butcher, G.S.; Demarest, D.W.; Dunn, E.H.; Hunter, W.C.; Inigo-Elias, E.E.; Martell, A.M.; Panjabi, A.O.; Pashley, D.N.; Rosenberg, K.V.; Rustay, C.M.; Wendt, J.S.; Will, T.C. 2004. iPartners in flight: North American landbird conservation plan/i. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY.

External Links


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  • BirdLife International 2004. In IUCN 2008. i2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species./i IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded July 18, 2008.
  • BirdLife International 2004. iZenaida macroura/i. In: IUCN 2006. i2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. /i and lt;www.iucnredlist.org and gt;. Downloaded on 21 October 2006.
  • BirdLife International 2009. iZenaida macroura/i. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloadedon 05February2012.
  • Bisby, F.A., Y.R. Roskov, M.A. Ruggiero, T.M. Orrell, L.E. Paglinawan, P.W. Brewer, N. Bailly, J. van Hertum, eds (2007). Species 2000 and ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2007 Annual Checklist. Species 2000: Reading, U.K.
  • Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 9, 2012.
  • Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Accessed October 03, 2007. http://www.gbif.org Mediated distribution data from provider.
  • Hines, J. E., Gregory Gough, J. R. Sauer, et al. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
  • IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. Downloaded on January 28, 2012.
  • Parker III, T.A., D.F. Stotz, and J.W. Fitzpatrick, and "Ecological and Distributional Databases for Neotropical Birds, and" in iNeotropical Birds: Ecology and Conservation/i, by D.F. Stotz, T.A. Parker III, J.W. Fitzpatrick, and D.K. Moskovits (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). ISBN 0-226-64676-9.
  • Peterson, Alan P. Zoological Nomenclature Resource. Accessed June 19, 2009.
  • Ruggiero M., Gordon D., Bailly N., Kirk P., Nicolson D. (2011). The Catalogue of Life Taxonomic Classification, Edition 2, Part A. In: Species 2000 and ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Ouvrard D., eds). DVD; Species 2000: Reading, UK.
  • Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, and J. Fallon. 2005. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966 - 2004. Version 2005.2. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD
  • Sauer, J. R., S. Schwartz, and B. Hoover. 1996. The Christmas Bird Count Home Page. Version 95.1. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD

Page Notes

  • URL: http://ZipcodeZoo.com/index.php/Zenaida_macroura
  • Primary Sources: Global Biodiversity Information Facility · the Taxonomicon · The Catalogue of Life, 3rd January 2011 · Wikimedia Commons · Wikipedia · Wikispecies · ZipcodeZoo.com.
  • Map Data Sources: Accessed through GBIF Data Portal March 01, 2008:Avian Knowledge Network: eBird · Avian Knowledge Network: Great Backyard Bird Count · Avian Knowledge Network: Project FeederWatch · Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum: Bishop Museum Natural History Specimen Data · Bird Studies Canada: Marsh Monitoring Program - Birds · Bird Studies Canada: Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas 1981-1985 · Bird Studies Canada: Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas 2001-2005 · Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics · Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: North West Territories and Nunavut Bird Checklist, Canada · Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Ontario Nest Records · Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Birds (Aves) · Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Royal British Columbia Museum · Canadian Museum of Nature: Canadian Museum of Nature Bird Collection · Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates: Bird Collection · EMAN Provider: PIROP (Shipboard Surveys) · GBIF-Sweden: Birds (GBIF-SE:Artdatabanken) · Marine Science Institute, UCSB: Paleobiology Database · Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University: MCZ Ornithology Collection · Museum of Vertebrate Zoology: Terrestrial vertebrate specimens · New Brunswick Museum: NBM birds · Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: Santa Barbara Musem of Natural History · The New York Botanical Garden: Bronx River Bioblitz · UNIBIO, IBUNAM: CNAV/Coleccion Nacional de Aves · University of Colorado Museum: Zoological specimens ·
  • Last revised: 2016-8-13. Last revision: ZZBot. 54337 bytes.