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Wild Doves

Learn the common dove species you can find in your backyards.

Edited by Melissa Kauffman

Excerpted from “America’s Favorites,” by Rob Fergus, Backyard Birding, Volume 1, published by BowTie Magazines, publisher of BIRD TALK and

Yes, we keep pet birds in our home. But you will see many doves outside your house. Doves are not native to the United States, but have been here for a very long time. Your pet birds may find these gentle, non-threatening wild doves interesting to watch outside a window. Wild bird seeds to put in the bird feeder to attract these doves are oil-type sunflower seeds and millet.

Mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) are easily recognizable with their long tails and “coo-coo-coo” calls. Mourning doves can be seen and heard in even the most urban of neighborhoods in Southern Canada and throughout the United States.

Eurasian collared-doves (Streptotelia decaocto) have spread through the western and southern states after colonizing Florida from the Bahamas in the 1980s. Eurasian collared-doves are larger gray birds with black neck collars.

Rock pigeons (Columba livia) are the common park doves originally native to Europe. You can see rock pigeons all throughout the United States, where they breed year-round in warmer parts. They have adapted their cliff-dwelling habits to nesting on building ledges over thousands of years.

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Wild Doves

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Reader Comments
Mourning Doves nested in my tree once, but they didn't survive. It was sad.
Qing, Rochester, NY
Posted: 2/21/2011 10:59:31 AM
I"ve always loved to be awakened by the soft cooing of the mourning doves!
valerie, glen oaks, NY
Posted: 2/17/2011 9:57:31 AM
Pigeons have gotten a rotten wrap!
Posted: 2/17/2011 9:49:54 AM
Posted: 2/15/2011 6:57:00 AM
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