This bird is a medium-sized, slender dove at 31cm (12 in) in length and body mass between 112-170 g. It has got broad wings, a rounded head and long , tapered tail. They have perching feet, with three toes forward and one reversed. The plumage is light gray-brown ,lighter and pinkish below. The wings have black spotting, and the outer tail feathers are white, having black inners. Below the eye is a crescent-shaped area of dark feathers. The eyes are dark, with light skin around. The male has a bluish-grey crown. Both sexes are similar in appearance but females are smaller and have more overall brown coloring.
Habitat and Distribution
The Mourning Dove has a large range of nearly 11,000,000 km2. It is resident in most of Mexico, the Greater Antilles and Continental United States, and southern Canada. They occur in southern Central America in winter, and much of Canada priaries they occur in summer only. The bird occupies habitats in urban areas, farms, prairies, grassland and lightly wooded areas. It avoids swamps and thick forests.
Their diet is 99% seeds. Foods include pine nuts, sweetgum seeds, pokeberry seeds, amaranth, canary grass, corn, sesame, and wheat.They also eat snails and insects, swallowing gravel or sand for digestion.
These birds build their nest in decidous or coniferous trees, sometimes shrubs, vines or buildings. The nest is constructed of twigs, conifer needles, or grass blades, and is of flimsy construction. The clutch size is almost always two eggs. The eggs are white , 6 to 7 g in mass. Incubation takes two weeks.
Calls and Songs
The call is a mournful oowoo-woo-woo-woo. The other call is an alarm call described as roo-oo.