Mourning Dove

(Zenaida macroura)

Conservation Status
Mourning Dove
Photo by Ramona Abrego
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5 - Secure

SNRB - Unranked Breeding and Nonbreeding


not listed


Mourning Dove is a medium sized, 9 to 13 long, slender bird with a wingspan of 15 to 18. It weighs 3 to 6 ounces.

The adult male head, neck, breast, and belly are mostly light brown. The top of the head and nape of the neck are bluish gray. The face, throat, and breast have a pinkish tint. The neck feathers have a pink iridescence. The back and upper wings are grayish brown. The rump is not white. The wings have large black spots. The tail is dark brown or gray, long, and tapered, the inner feathers longer than the outer ones. The 3 outermost tail feathers have white tips bordered by black.

The head is small and rounded. There is a small black spot just below and a little behind the eye. The eyes are dark and are surrounded by blue skin. The beak is short, thin, and dark.

The legs are short and reddish. The feet are reddish with 3 toes forward and one toe back.

The female is similar to the male but less colorful. The top of the head and nape of the neck are olive gray. The face and throat are olive brown. The breast is tan. The neck feathers have an olive green, sometimes with pink, iridescence. The 1 or 2 outermost tail feathers have white tips bordered by black.

On taking flight the wings produce a light, airy whistle and clap at the top and bottom of the stroke.




9 to 13in length

18 wingspan




Similar Species

  Rock pigeon (Columba livia) is a somewhat larger, much chunkier bird, 11 to 14 long, 9.3 to 13.4 ounces, with a wingspan of 20 to 26. The wings are broader. The tail is square with no white markings. The rump is white.  

Open and semi-open areas; prairie, lightly wooded areas, agricultural and suburban areas.




Early March to late November












Abundant migrant and breeder




The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

  Class Aves (birds)  


Columbiformes (pigeons and doves)  


Columbidae (pigeons and doves)  




Zenaida (zenaida doves)  

The current subdivision by many of the family Columbidae into five subfamilies has been shown by DNA analysis to be incorrect. For this reason, most sources do not include the subfamily when listing the taxonomic tree for doves.


Subordinate Taxa


Caribbean Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura macroura)

Eastern Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura carolinensis)

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura clarionensis)

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura turturilla)

Western Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura marginella)




Columba macroura











Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this bird.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Ramona Abrego
  Mourning Dove    
Joan Rock

Several pictures from the yard.

  Mourning Dove   Mourning Dove
  Mourning Dove   Mourning Dove
Tom Baker
  Mourning Dove    Photos
  Mourning Dove   Mourning Dove
  Mourning Dove    




  Mourning Dove
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Mourning Dove  
  Mourning Dove
JMC Nature Photos
  Mourning Dove  
  Mourning Doves
Craig A. Mullenbach
  Mourning Doves  



Visitor Videos

Share your video of this bird.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.

Other Videos
  Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) - Silent
Douglas Welch

Published on Jan 28, 2014

From My Word with Douglas E. Welch (

Shot January 23, 2014 in San Fernando Valley, Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California.

More info on Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura):

For more wildlife videos, visit this YouTube Playlist:

  Mourning Dove (Columbidae: Zenaida macroura) Singing Male
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on Jun 24, 2009

Photographed near Kellys Slough NWR, North Dakota (24 June 2009).

  Mourning Dove (Columbidae: Zenaida macroura) Nest with Eggs
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on May 15, 2010

Photographed near Fisher, Minnesota (15 May 2010).

  Mourning Doves - In Love?

Uploaded on Apr 25, 2010

I looked out my window and saw these two Mourning Doves having a good time together. I watched them for a few minutes and would have to say that they were either just cleaning one another or courting one another from the things I saw them doing to eachother. For me it is hard to tell a male from a female Mourning Dove so if any of you know if these are a male and female let me know.. I thought it was a beautiful sight to see them so calm together like this. I only wish I had started filming them a little earlier..

The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the dove family (Columbidae). The bird is also called the Western Turtle Dove or the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove, and formerly was known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtledove. It is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds. It is also the leading gamebird, with up to 70 million birds shot annually in the U.S., both for sport and for meat. Its ability to sustain such pressure stems from its prolific Breeding: in warm areas, one pair may raise up to six broods a year. Its plaintive woo-oo-oo-oo call gives the bird its name. The wings can make an unusual whistling sound upon take-off and landing, and the bird is a strong flier, capable of speeds up to 88 km/h (55 mph).

Mourning Doves are light grey and brown and generally muted in color. Males and females are similar in appearance. The species is generally monogamous, with two squabs (young) per brood. Both parents incubate and care for the young. Mourning Doves eat almost exclusively seeds, but the young are fed crop milk by their parents.

More on Morning Doves:

Background music downloaded at and user UncleSigmund

  birds usa... mourning dove

Published on Dec 30, 2012

Zenaida macroura with nesting material...

Romans acres, Peru, Indiana, USA 25-07-2012




Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this bird.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Be sure to include a location.

Ramona Abrego

Location: Washington County

Mourning Dove

Tom Baker

Location: Edenbrook Conservation Area

Mourning Dove

Joan Rock

Location: Redwood County

Several pictures from the yard.

Mourning Dove

Joan Rock

Location: Redwood County

Several pictures from the yard.

Mourning Dove


Afton State Park

Agassiz Dunes SNA

Antelope Valley SNA

Badoura Jack Pine Woodland SNA

Baker Park Reserve

Belgium Prairie

Big Stone Lake State Park

Blaine Preserve SNA

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Blanket Flower Prairie SNA

Blue Mounds State Park

Bonanza Prairie SNA

Boot Lake SNA

Bunker Hills Regional Park

Bur Oak WMA

Butternut Valley Prairie SNA

Camden State Park

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Carver Park Reserve

Cedar Mountain SNA

Cedar Rock SNA

Cherry Grove Blind Valley SNA

Chippewa Prairie

Clinton Falls Dwarf Trout Lily SNA

Clinton Prairie SNA

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Crystal Spring SNA

Day Park and Earley Lake Trail

Des Moines River SNA

Falls Creek SNA

Felton Prairie SNA, Bicentennial Unit

Felton Prairie SNA, Shrike Unit

Foxhome Prairie

Glacial Lakes Preserve

Glacial Lakes State Park

Gneiss Outcrops SNA

Great River Bluffs State Park

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Hampton Woods WMA

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Hayes Lake State Park

Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

Holthe Prairie SNA

Hythecker Prairie SNA

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

John Peter Hoffman Spring Brook Valley WMA

Kasota Prairie

Keller Regional Park

Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Kellogg Weaver Unit

King’s and Queen’s Bluff SNA

Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Lake Louise State Park

Langhei Prairie SNA

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Leif Mountain

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Maplewood Heights Park

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

McKnight Prairie

Minnesota Valley NWR, Long Meadow Lake Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Louisville Swamp Unit

Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, Lawrence Unit

Monson Lake State Park

Moose Lake State Park

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, North Unit

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Myre-Big Island State Park

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Rengstorf Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Touch the Sky Prairie Unit

Ordway Prairie

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Paul Bunyan Savanna

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Plover Prairie, East Unit

Prairie Creek WMA, Koester Prairie Unit

Racine Prairie SNA

Red Rock Prairie

Regal Meadow

Rice Lake Savanna SNA

Rice Lake State Park

Ripley Esker SNA

River Terrace Prairie SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

Sandpiper Prairie SNA

Savage Fen SNA

Schaefer Prairie

Sedan Brook SNA

Sheepberry Fen

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

Shooting Star Prairie SNA

Spring Creek Prairie SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Spring Lake Regional Park

Spring Prairie Preserve

Staffanson Prairie

Town Hall Prairie

Townsend Woods SNA

Tribute WMA

Twin Lakes SNA

Twin Valley Prairie Addition

Uncas Dunes SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Verlyn Marth Memorial Prairie SNA

Vermillion Highlands Research Recreation and WMA

Vermillion River WMA

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Wild River State Park

Woodbury WMA

Woodland Trails Park




Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © All rights reserved.