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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Mourning Dove -- Zenaida macroura


RANGE: Breeds from southern and central Alberta to southern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia south to Mexico. Winters primarily from northern California east across the central United States to Iowa, southern Michigan, southern Ontario, New York, and New England south throughout the breeding range to central Panama.

STATUS: Abundant.

HABITAT: Occupies a broad range of habitats from desert areas close to water to a variety of wooded habitats, but avoids densely forested regions. Inhabits open country, especially fields, orchards, or generally weedy areas having an abundance of grains and seeds. Also inhabits open mixed woodlands and wood edges, shelterbelts, church and cemetery sites, evergreen plantations, suburbs, and cities.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Open country with some bare ground and adequate foods.

NEST: Loosely colonial or solitary. Generally nests on horizontal branches in shrubs and trees, especially conifers up to 100 feet, but typically 10 to 25 feet above ground, and occasionally on the ground.

FOOD: Feeds primarily on weed seeds and waste grains. Also eats a few insects, small snails, fruits, and nuts.

REFERENCES: Davison and Sullivan 1963, DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Hanson and Kosack 1963, Johnsgard 1975a, Keeler 1977.


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