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Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura

Migration of the Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove moves southward in winter and then moves back as temperatures rise.

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, Croton 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.



Creosote bush scrub


Great basin sage brush

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.

Other places you might find us roaming about:

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Edited on Jan 21, 2013. Authors:
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