Sunday, January 07, 2007

Backyard Birds - Mourning Doves; Inca Doves


In the mornings the doves line up on the power lines, waiting for the breakfast call. At this time of year, the only doves up there are Mourning Doves. Unless a hawk flies near, they will stay patiently until I come out. I leave food on the ground for them - small suet snacks, peanuts, black oil sunflower seeds. They also forage around in the flower beds, in the leaf piles under the shedding mesquite tree, and under the seed feeders. I've never been able to get an exact count, but at their peak I've estimated between 120 and 150 on the ground or waiting on the wall. However, since they arrive in flocks, I don't know if that's a true total - there may be more.After the morning feeding frenzy, small groups hang around all morning and then come back later in the day. They like to sunbathe on a power lineor on top of the concrete patio wall.In spring and summer, I hear the Mourning Doves cooing softly all day long. But in these colder months I rarely hear them call.


The little Inca Doves are back after a couple of months away. Occasionally I see them feeding among the much larger Mourning Doves in the mornings, but these days they seem to come to enjoy the sunshine and warmth on the concrete block wall. This was today's line-up:and one going solo:


Ontario Wanderer said...

I heard that hunters shoot Morning Doves in Texas and a few other places. Do you know anything about that?

Peacechick Mary said...

Do your doves have the squeaky door sound when they fly off? I always thing they need a little oil. I wonder if the sound comes from their vocal cords or the wings or what.

Liza Lee Miller said...

I love mourning doves. Their call is so peaceful. We have some in my neighborhood but the don't come to my house. Still, I enjoy hearing them.

NatureWoman said...

Wow Pam! I've never seen so many mourning doves in one place. I usually have one or two pairs here in the summer.
Thank you for the information about Good Planets on Laura's blog! I *love* your photo of the Grand Canyon from the air!

Pam in Tucson said...

ow - I'd heard that, too. Looked it up. Texas and Arizona both allow hunting of white-winged and mourning doves.

pc mary - The white-winged doves are squeakier. The mourning doves trill as they take off. The wing beats are really noisy - almost a drumming sound.

liza lee - I love all the doves, but I'd honestly prefer fewer of them. I love the mournful cooing of the mourning doves, especially when they call to their mates.

naturewoman - A couple of pairs would be nice. We unfortunately had two unsuccessful nestings of mourning doves last summer. I hope they'll try again, although the fragile, unstable nests make me very nervous. We did have a white-winged dove pair that nested and produced one little one. I don't think the second egg hatched.

T. Beth said...

What a swarm of Mourning Doves! No wonder the Cooper's Hawk likes your neighborhood.

Unlike you, I get pigeons along with Mourning Doves at my feeders here in Tucson at this time of year. I wish it were just Mourning Doves.

Pam in Tucson said...

t.beth - For some reason we don't get pigeons, although I see them along the main street. For the last couple of days, I've seen a few smaller Inca doves mingling with the Mourning Doves.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Till my downstairs neighbors complained I fed doves on my balcony. I do like them.