Mourning Dove

photo by Phil Swanson

Zenaida macroura
L 12″ (31 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Mournful “oowoo-woo-woo-woo.”

Description: Sexes similar. Light brownish gray above, buffy below with a pinkish wash; black spot at lower base of ear patch; black spots on upperwing; and long tapered tail. In flight, white tips of outer tail feathers are visible. Juvenile is browner overall with heavy spotting.

Bird Map
Habitat: Occurs in a variety of habitats, including open woodlands and edge areas, parks, cities, gardens, and grasslands.

Where in Nebraska: Abundant spring and fall migrant and summer resident across the state. Will overwinter in Nebraska if the winter is mild, or in sheltered locations. Also a regular breeder.

Field Notes: North America’s most abundant and widespread dove.

Fun Facts: Mourning Doves feed quickly on the ground storing seeds in their crop and then fly to a perch to then eat the seeds in safety.

female Mourning Dove - photo by Phil Swanson male Mourning Dove - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)