Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove


Alaska and southern Canada to Panama, covering all of North America.


Mourning doves can be found in deserts, grasslands, forests and urban areas.


These birds are medium sized, brownish and with a rounded or pointed white tipped tail. The males are larger than the females and are slightly brighter colored. Their wings have dark spots on them, while their neck is a lighter gray, buff color.

Mourning Dove

These doves are migratory birds. Their migration starts from the breeding grounds and continues to the southern areas where they go to escape harsh winters. During migration, these birds will fly over 1000 miles to reach their destination.


Mourning doves are monogamous. Some pairs will stay together throughout the winter. Both males and females share incubation of eggs and feeding of babies. These doves can produce up to six broods per year. Usually, two to three eggs are laid in a nest made in evergreens or other varieties of trees. Sometimes nests are made in clumps of grass on the ground.

Interesting Facts:

Mourning doves feed their nestlings crop milk or "pigeon milk," for the first three days after hatching. This extremely nutritious food is secreted by the crop lining, and has more protein and fat than either cow or human milk. It can be secreted by both adults. Mourning doves are named for their moaning coah, coo, coo, coo.


These birds have been raised in captivity and are prevelant in the wild. In fact they are the leading game birds in North America.

Did YOU Know?    
Mourning doves are the most abundant doves in the United States.
Mourning Dove
Native Utah Animal
Class: birds
Order: Columbiformes
Family: columbidae
Genus: Zenaida
Species: macroura
Length: wingspan up to 18 inches
Height: about 12 inches including tail
Weight: about 12 inches including tail
Average Lifespan: 2.5
Wild Diet: These doves eat a variety of seeds, grains, fruits and insects.
Zoo Diet: Seeds, grains, fruits and insects
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed

Learn more about birds or animals from North America!
Or, cross-reference the two!