Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves are common in Southern Ontario.  It's a peaceful sound that they make often in the still of the evening; a mournful, gentle cooing sound.  One unique sound they make is when they take off or land - their wings whistle so that it sounds like they need some greasing at their joints.

Mourning Dove on the nest
This nest is in a tree right beside our place.  They are very courageous little birds - I climbed into this tree and was within a meter of the nest and it only finally flew away at the end.  The female builds the nest, with the male brining her the supplies.  Both male and female sit on the eggs, and apparently it's pretty regular as to who does what shift: the male takes morning to afternoon shift, leaving the rest of the afternoon, evening and night to the female. 

Mourning Dove eggs
Mourning doves are monogamous, and can have as many as six broods in a season, which is necessary as mourning doves seem to have a high mortality rate, both for the young and adults.  They also only lay two eggs per brood, so they don't get too far ahead each time around.

Male Mourning Dove
We'll see if  I can catch some photos of the chicks hatching as well...

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