Mourning Dove

Save as favorite

Avg. Owner Satisfaction


(6 Reviews)

Is the Mourning Dove right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Carolina Turtledove, Carolina Dove, Carolina Pigeon, Rain Dove

Scientific name: Zenaida macroura

The basics:
Mourning Doves are the abundant, easily visible mid-sized dove of North America, perhaps most famous for the way their wings whistle when they fly. Despite the fact that they are a popular gamebird with hunting seasons in many states, they enjoy powerful legal protection and can't be collected from the wild without the proper license. This species is relatively easy to breed in captivity, and an ochre mutation has been developed by captive breeders. However, many people are more likely to acquire this dove as a result of working with a wild bird rescue.

Despite the fact that it may be the most intensively hunted bird in North America, the Mourning Dove continues to be a highly successful, well-monitored, and easily observed species. Its seed-based diet, and its ability to nest quickly and repeatedly near human dwellings, seem to have secured its place in backyards all over America.

A graceful mid-sized dove with a tapered tail.

128 grams (4.5 oz.)

Average size:
31 centimeters (12 in.)

15 - 19 years

Behavior / temperament:
Although rather friendly and easy-going as wild birds, Mourning Doves reportedly undergo a personality change in captivity. The males in particular may become highly aggressive in season, demanding that you supply a large, well-planted aviary that provides plenty of places for the female to get away from a pushy partner.

Mourning Doves don't accept cages as happily as many pigeon and dove species, and it's highly recommended that you provide a large pen or planted aviary if you are attempting to keep or breed this species. Although the northern wild population is migratory, the birds are quite tolerant of cooler temperatures as long as they have a secure shelter and a good diet.

Since they spend a lot of time on the ground, Mourning Doves can co-exist with unrelated birds that stay high and eat similar food, such as waxbill finches, allowing you to create a mixed-species aviary with bird activity on multiple levels.

Mourning Doves enjoy a heavily seed-based diet, which makes them about as easy to feed as the domestic pigeons. Don't forget to provide them with a source of grit to help them digest the seeds and grains they swallow whole.

Written by Elaine Radford


gentle cooing, melodic sound., docile personalities


large cage, average lifespan

Mourning Dove Health Tip

Mourning Dove

From BhuvanaMcGoats May 26 2015 12:17PM


Member photos