Who isn’t lulled into serenity at the sound of a mourning dove’s coo?
This pair has been visiting me for a few years now. Mourning doves feed on the ground and in the open. They peck or push aside ground litter, but don’t scratch at the ground. mourning doves tend to feed busily and store seeds in an enlargement of the esophagus called the crop. The doves love the cheap millet that is found in less expensive seed mixes.
Males have favorite “cooing perches” they defend from other males. Members of a pair preen each other with gentle nibbles around the neck as a pair-bonding ritual. Eventually, the pair will progress to grasping beaks and bobbing their heads up and down in unison.
When taking off and landing, mourning doves’ wings make a loud whistling that may help startle predators or warn flock mates. They also can clap their wings together during takeoff much the way rock pigeons do.
The oldest known mourning dove was 31 years 4 months old!