How to Identify Birds: The Mourning Dove

How to Identify Birds: The Mourning Dove. The mourning dove nests in all 48 of the contiguous
United States. Spot one using a few easy-to-follow rules. You will need Binoculars and a field guide. Step 1. Consider the bird’s appearance through binoculars
and compare it with the pictures in your field guide. Mourning doves have plump bodies and long
pointed tails, short legs, small bills, and small heads. Step 2. Consider the bird’s coloring. Mourning doves are grayish-brown in color
and have black spots on their wings and white tips with black borders on their tail feathers. Step 3. Consider the bird’s behavior. Mourning doves fly rapidly using strong wing
beats and may take flight or land suddenly while stretching their tails behind them. Mourning doves are usually seen in pairs in
summer. Step 4. Consider the bird’s habitat. Mourning doves are fond of fields and bare
ground where they forage for seeds, but may also be found sitting on overhead telephone
wires. Although some mourning doves winter in the
northern parts of the U.S., most do not arrive until mid-spring. Step 5. Consider the bird’s call. The male mourning dove has a call that sounds
like a drawn-out, mournful lament. Did you know The mourning dove is the most
frequently hunted bird in North America.

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