(Turtle Dove, Carolina Dove)
R. Bruce Horsfall>
La. columba pigeon, dove
La. forma form, shape, kind
La. Zenaida for Zenaide
Laetitia Julie Princess
Bonaparte, wife of French
Gr. makros long
Gr. oura tail
Light creamy gray underside. Smaller than their pigeon cousins, they look
somewhat distorted with their proportionately small head that bobs when
Abundant, numbering in the hundreds
of millions, inhabiting woodlands, groves, open areas, farms, towns and
cities in North America from southern Canada, throughout the States,
Central America to Panama and the Caribbean.
Makes nests out of flimsy piles of loose sticks on horizontal tree
branches, stumps, bushes, rocks, on the ground, on building ledges and in
platform style nest boxes.
Lays two white eggs (rarely more), which hatch after about two weeks
incubation and young leave the nest in about another two weeks. Regularly
raise a second brood and sometimes as many as four in a season.
Pairs mate for life and remain solitary, mostly keeping to themselves and their
immediate families during breeding and rearing seasons until the more northern
located doves gather into small flocks before migrating.
Funky walkers, their heads bob as they forage on the ground for grass seeds and
grain. Flocks frequents roadways, city streets and yards seaching for gravel.
Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Fifty Common
Birds of Farm and Orchard, 1913
They sing the slow melancholy series of five whoos that give
them their name. Their wings emit a rhythmic whistling in swift flight as fast
as 35 miles per hour.
If Mourning Doves can be attracted to a platform, they
prefer the wide angle of view from an open nesting platform mounted on a wall.
They frequently live near people and are candidates for platforms located for
great views of brood rearing.
Platform plans for Mourning Doves and Robins have an 8" by 8" base, approximately a
8" ceiling, an open front and partially open sides. The gable roof provides
extra head room for doves, as they are larger than the other platform nesters.
Mount this platform on the side of a garage or shed over looking both open
spaces and foliage in your back yard from seven to fourteen feet high. Select a location
with protection from predators,
elements, access, visibility, and varying sunlight.
Make sure objects that cats and squirrels can climb do not provide access to
the nest. The idea is to simulate a ledge on the face of a cliff. They like to
survey a wide berth from their roost.
You are more likely to attract a pair of Robins than Doves, but in some
circumstances, in just the right spot, Doves will nest on platforms.
Attract nesting Mourning Doves to a tree by forming an 8" diameter cup from
hardware cloth (being careful to bend the end wires back on the underside) and
nailing in the fork of tree branches. Robins, Phoebes, Blue Jays, Barn Swallows
and Song Sparrows may use this nesting platform.