Fun Mourning Dove Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Mourning Dove Facts For Kids

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Also known as the American mourning dove, turtle dove, or the rain dove, mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) are common across the American continent and have a wide range. Mourning doves are often compared to similar species like the Eurasian collared doves, rock pigeons, common ground doves, and band-tail doves. These common birds are found sitting on the telephone wires, backyard, fence, and anywhere in the open country.

Mourning doves are abundant in the USA during winters and southern Canada during the summer months. Their favorite nesting habitat is in scattered trees, edges of woodlands. A major part of the mourning dove diet includes seeds. Apart from that these cooing birds feed on grains in agricultural fields, seeds and berries in gardens and backyards, and weeds on the roadsides.

They have a graceful, long-tailed body with a small head. Mourning dove feathers are light grey-brown on the body. The underbelly is covered with pinkish grey-brown feathers. Mourning dove wings have black spots. The long pointed tail is rectangular, tapered at the end. Like all doves, mourning dove chicks are fed on crop milk. This unique milk is made by pigeons, doves, flamingoes, and some penguin species. Mourning doves are among the most common game birds in North America.

Included in this article are facts about female mourning dove, juvenile mourning dove, mourning dove nest, mourning dove sound, mourning dove egg, pet mourning dove, and so on.

You may also check out fruit dove facts and dove facts from Kidadl.

Fun Mourning Dove Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Seeds, berries, wild grass, weeds, herbs

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2 eggs

How much do they weigh?

3.3-6 oz (96–170g)

How long are they?

8.9-14.2 in (22.6-36 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Gray, brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Plains, Grasslands, Lowlands, Canadian Prairies


North America, Mexico, Southern Canada, Panama









Mourning Dove Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a mourning dove?

Mourning doves are species of birds from the dove family. The males of this species are famous for their ‘perch coos’. During the breeding season, males without partners sing the popular mourning dove song repeatedly from a noticeable perch to attract females.

What class of animal does a mourning dove belong to?

Mourning doves belong to the class Aves, meaning they are birds. They fly to warmer regions of North America during the winter months from South Canada. Mourning doves are common birds in the backyard, on the telephone wires, and scattered woodlands.

How many mourning doves are there in the world?

Mourning doves are among the most widespread species of doves in North America. Their huge population of nearly 475 million is spread across a wide range. Mourning doves are found throughout the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, Mexico, Bermuda, the Continental United States, southern Canada, and the Canadian prairies.

Where does a mourning dove live?

Mourning dove habitat includes farms, open woods, prairies, grasslands, urban gardens, and country forests. This species of birds can be found in almost all types of open or semi-open spaces in the temperate regions of North America. Mourning dove nesting habits are similar to other dove species. They usually build nests on trees in forest edges.

What is a mourning dove's habitat?

Mourning doves prefer warmer temperate regions of North America and southern Canada. In winter they move to warmer places. They are found on open grounds as well as woodlands. This species of dove, breed prolifically and raise almost six broods per year. That explains their abundant presence across North America’s backyard gardens, agricultural fields, grasslands, and countryside.

Who do mourning doves live with?

Mourning doves live in pairs. When they migrate to warmer climates from the colder zones, they move in flocks.

Usually, the males carry the nesting materials and the females weave the nest which is about 8 in (20.3 cm) in size. At times, these birds also use their old nests for laying eggs.

How long does a mourning dove live?

The mourning dove's lifespan in the wild is about two to five years. In captivity, they can live up to 19 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season starts in April and may last till October in warmer areas. Mostly the pairs are monogamous and mate for life. Nesting areas are usually on trees but occasionally on the ground. Nests are flimsily built with pine needles, stems, twigs, and grass by the female mourning doves. Mostly two to three broods are raised every season.

Mourning dove eggs are white and usually, a clutch consists of two eggs. The eggs are hatched about fifteen days later and the mourning dove chicks appear. If disturbed, mourning doves may abandon the nest and the young birds during the breeding season. Juvenile mourning doves leave the nest after about two weeks.

Mourning birds co-parent to raise the young birds. The mourning dove chick's diet is ‘crop milk’ also known as pigeon milk.

What is their conservation status?

The mourning dove's conservation status is of Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened species, due to their abundant population within their range. Even with a huge decline in numbers every year, the population of this species of birds is increasing.

Mourning Dove Fun Facts

What do mourning doves look like?

Mourning Dove perched on a thorny branch

Male and female mourning birds look similar. The males can be distinguished from the females by their pink color feathers on the chest. Both the sexes have brown and gray color feathers with black spots on their wings. These birds have small heads, a small pointed beak, and a slender, tapered tail.

Juveniles look quite similar to adults. Young birds have small white tips on most of the feathers on the upper part of their bodies and some white markings on the face.

How cute are they?

Mourning doves are cute, innocent-looking birds with expressive eyes.

How do they communicate?

Mourning doves communicate through vocal sounds and gestures with their partners. During the breeding season, males make cooing sounds when looking for a female partner. They are popular for their melancholy vocalization or cooing.

How big is a mourning dove?

California condors are the largest bird in their North American range and are around 54 in (137.1 cm) in length. Compared to them, a mourning dove of 12 in (30.4 cm) is about four and a half times smaller in length.

How fast can a mourning dove fly?

Mourning doves can fly at the speed of 55 mph (88.5 kph), about twice as fast as a green jay.

How much does a mourning dove weigh?

A mourning dove's body weight is around 3.3-6 oz (96–170g), almost 15 times heavier than a pink robin.

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male dove is called a cock and a female is called a hen.

What would you call a baby mourning dove?

A baby mourning dove is called a chick, nestling, and a fledgling in different stages.

What do they eat?

A major part of the mourning dove's diet includes seeds. They mostly forage on the ground and sometimes perch on trees to eat seeds. These birds eat quickly and fill their crop with seeds. The crop is like a storing pouch for the seeds. They then digest the seeds while resting. Mourning doves also swallow grit or tiny gravels to assist them in digesting hard seeds. Along with seeds, mourning dove food also occasionally includes insects from the ground.

Are they dangerous?

Mourning doves are gentle birds but are scared of humans. Male birds show some aggression during the breeding season to protect their territory from other males. They puff up their necks, spread their wings, and chase other males.

Would they make a good pet?

Mourning doves live the happiest life when they are free. If you love to hear cooing mourning dove sounds, these wild birds are easy to invite into backyards with bird feeders. In case you want to house pet mourning doves, these independent birds need large and clean areas, warm temperatures, and proper mourning dove food including seeds. Doves do not like to be touched much, so they are hands-off pets and not cuddly as dogs and cats. However, they are extremely appealing to the eyes and certainly friendly.

Did you know...

Often mistaken for each other, the Eurasian collared dove and mourning dove difference is mainly on the collar and wings. Eurasian collared doves have a thick black band on the collar and single white stripes on both wings.

Why do they call it a mourning dove?

These dove species get their name from the sad cooing, mourning dove call that the males make.

What does it mean when a mourning dove visits you?

Mourning dove symbolism is often related to sorrow. However, in some cultures, the mourning dove is connected to love, peace, a messenger of harmony. Either a message of love from God or an aid in a time of crisis, it consistently represents a blessing from God.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our thrush bird facts and merlin bird facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our dove coloring pages.

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