"The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the dove family (Columbidae). The bird is also called the Western Turtle Dove or the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove and formerly was known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtledove. It is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds. It is also the leading gamebird, with up to 70 million birds shot annually in the U.S., both for sport and for meat. Its ability to sustain its population under such pressure stems from its prolific breeding: in warm areas, one pair may raise up to six broods a year. Its plaintive woo-OO-oo-oo-oo call gives the bird its name. The wings can make an unusual whistling sound upon take-off and landing, and the bird is a strong flier, capable of speeds up to 88 km/h (55 mph).
Mourning Doves are light grey and brown and generally muted in color. Males and females are similar in appearance. The species is generally monogamous, with two squabs (young) per brood. Both parents incubate and care for the young. Mourning Doves eat almost exclusively seeds, but the young are fed crop milk by their parents."
I am so fortunate to live in the country. Each day I find lovely mourning doves cooing around our fountain. This coo sounds like a mating call, or a nest call but then a greeting call, if you will. The Mourning Dove is monogamous and forms strong pair bonds... how very sweet!
Do you hear them calling in your area?
I Can Hear the Mourning Dove (Point Signature)
In James Bennett's novel, I Can Hear The Mourning Dove, 16-year-old Grace struggles to control her hallucinations and to connect with the real world. After her father's death, Grace suffers from depression and schizophrenic episodes.
For more about the book, author interview, student activities and book review, visit
“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis