The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a species of bird (Aves) in the dove family (Columbidae). It is one of the most abundant and widespread birds in North America, where it is native. Mourning Doves are frequently hunted for sport in certain regions, making them the most popular game bird species in North America.
A medium-sized, slender dove with a long tapered tail. It is gray-brown above with a lighter pinkish belly. The wings have black spotting, and the outer tail feathers are white. The legs are short and reddish in color. Its call is a soft, mournful cooing sound, hence its name. When taking off, their wings make a fluttery whistling or whinnying. Mourning Doves feed mainly on seeds and are commonly seen in a variety of habitats including open fields, farmlands, and suburban areas.
The Mourning Dove is found throughout much of North America, from southern Canada to Panama, as well as in the Caribbean. It is migratory bird species, breeding in the northern parts of North America flying south for the winter to warmer regions in the south, including Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. This migration usually occurs between August and October, and the birds fly back north between March and May. During migration, Mourning Doves fly during the day, and their movements are influenced by weather patterns and food availability. Some populations of Mourning Doves are non-migratory and remain in their breeding ranges year-round. These birds are typically found in urban and suburban areas, where they have adapted to human-altered habitats.