Skip to main content

Mourning Dove

If you live in North America, I'm sure you've met today's animal before. This is the Mourning Dove, or Turtledove, or Carolina Pigeon, or Rain Dove... It goes by a whole lot of names. These members of the Columbidae family are some of the most widespread and abundant birds in North America, boasting a range of over 11 million square miles!

Mourning Doves spend a whole lot of time eating. They forage on the ground, storing up as many seeds as possible in their crop (there can literally be thousands of seeds in there!) In a single day, a Mourning Dove can eat 20% of their body weight. Seeds make up nearly 99% of their diet, but they aren't especially picky about the type of seed. This helps them to survive and spread into different habitats. The Doves are even able to live in deserts, thanks to their ability to drink incredibly brackish water!

Another cause for their large population and extensive range is their nesting behavior. Banding studies suggest that Mourning Doves mate for life, and during a single season each pair can raise three to six broods! The common brood size is two eggs, and they hatch after only 2 weeks. The offspring are fed crop milk, and fledge at around 11-15 days (fast growers!)

Needless to say, their huge range and massive population size has kept the birds from being in any sort of conservation danger. In the United States it is estimated that there are more than 350 million of them, and around 20 million are harvested as game every year.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : North America
Size : Body Length up to 12in (30cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Columbiformes
Family : Columbidae -- Genus : Zenaida -- Species : Z. macroura

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

10 Years?!

My goodness! It's been 6 years since I went on hiatus, and now more than 10 years since AaD was born, and what a world we've moved in to! Animal a Day is coming back- but in the meantime, check us out on Facebook, for your daily dose of #BIRDNEWS