The Morning Dove picks up seeds off the ground and stores them in part of their throat called the crop. It eats up to 20% of its body weight every day! As good as they are at eating, these birds are not too bright and make very poor nests with little to no structure that is mainly made of twigs.
The Mourning Dove has a light gray coat with a brownish tinge. Its call is a very soft and mournful cooing, hence its name. But it’s not mournful at all, mourning doves are lifelong partners. The male courts a female by flying noisily towards her, his wings making a distinct hissing sound. Then he puffs out his chest and shakes his head, and calls his female who becomes the “dove of his life”.
Life in the Marsh
Morning Doves nest in trees but you can easily spot them on the ground foraging for seeds, grasses and even snails. Their particular cooing also confirms their presence in the park!
Protection and Threats
The Morning Dove has a very large population, and nearly 20 million are hunted each year. Their predators are numerous; hawks prey on doves, while crows, cats and snakes may feed on their eggs during the nesting period.