Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
Migration of the Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove moves southward in winter and then moves back as
Diet of the Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove eats seed obtained from the ground. They also
browse on herbaceous plants low to the ground. They need a source of
water. Some plants they use include Rhus trilobata,
californica, Ambrosia spp,
and various grass and aster species.
Range of the Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove is found throughout California. It is found in the
desert in the summer (not in winter). These birds are probably able to
survive the deserts in summer because they spend most of their time on
the ground where the temperatures are cooler and they are protected
from the harsh desert winds. They move out of higher elevations in
winter as snow prevents them from foraging on the ground.
Habitat plant community used by the Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove prefers areas with bare ground between their
favorite herbs. They like to be able to see predators and it is easier
to find seeds on bare ground.
Nesting habitat used by the Mourning Dove
Mourning Doves have little preference for nesting sites. They will
nest in many kinds of trees. If no suitable trees are available, they
will nest on the ground. Domestic cats reduce mourning dove populations.
How to attract the Mourning Dove to your garden
The morning dove likes small herbaceous plants with bare dirt in
between. They also like to have a perch near by to fly to in danger.
They like grass seeds including our native grasses Stipa (Nassella)etc.
They do not like it when there is dense vegetation. They like clean
open areas in chaparral. They like to eat wild flower seeds. So control
the nonnative weeds and help out your native wildflowers. This in turn
will help ground feeding birds.