Mourning Dove

(Zenaida macroura)

A graceful, slender-tailed, small-headed dove that’s common across the continent. Mourning Doves perch on telephone wires and forage for seeds on the ground; their flight is fast and bullet straight. Their soft, drawn-out calls sound like laments. When taking off, their wings make a sharp whistling or whinnying. Mourning Doves are the most frequently hunted species in North America.

Perhaps one reason why Mourning Doves survive in the desert: they can drink brackish spring water (up to almost half the salinity of sea water) without becoming dehydrated the way humans would.

Information from the All About Birds website, www.allaboutbirds.org, © Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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© 2020 by AJ Reinhart