Q:

Do doves mate for life?

A:

Quick Answer

Mourning doves, also referred to as turtle doves, tend to mate for life. The birds are generally monogamous, with both parents working together to care for and incubate the young in their brood. Mourning doves are prolific breeders and raise up to six broods each year in warmer climates.

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Do doves mate for life?
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Full Answer

Closely related to the Socorro dove, the eared dove and the now-extinct passenger pigeon, mourning doves are light gray and brown, with male and females looking very similar. They are very strong fliers, reaching speeds of up to 55 miles per hour and are known for their distinctive, plaintive call, which is often mistaken as that of an owl.

Adult mourning doves eat seeds almost exclusively, although in rare circumstances they may eat snails or insects. They show preference to sweetgum seeds, pine nuts and the seeds of amaranth, corn, wheat, sesame and canary grass. Mourning dove parents feed their young crop milk.

The main predators of mourning doves are birds of prey such as hawks and falcons. During nesting periods, rat snakes, house cats, grackles and corvids prey on mourning bird eggs. Mourning doves are a top North American gamebird. It is estimated that more than 20 million are shot each year in the United States.

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Related Questions

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    What do white doves eat?

    A:

    White doves feed primarily on seeds. Rocket Swag lists popcorn kernels, millet and sunflowers as particularly suitable. Grit in the form of crushed oyster and egg shells should be provided separately. Soft foods, such as cornbread and hard-boiled eggs, can be mixed into the seeds. The occasional bug, worm or green can be added to their diet as well. White doves can also eat different grains and wheat.

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  • Q:

    How do you care for baby doves?

    A:

    If you find a fledgling or nestling bird, you should call or contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center. However, according to the Schuylkill Center, every attempt should be made to reunite the baby bird with its parents. Care for a baby bird depends on if it is in a fledgling or nestling stage. It is a myth that mother birds abandon birds touched by humans.

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  • Q:

    Where do mourning doves nest?

    A:

    Mourning doves nest among the dense foliage of evergreen trees, certain deciduous species and vines. They may also build nests within artificial structures, such as the eaves and gutters of houses, or abandoned farm equipment. In the Western United States, it is common to find them nesting on the ground.

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  • Q:

    What food do doves eat?

    A:

    Rock doves or feral pigeons eat seeds and grains that they pick up from the ground. Pigeons are also opportunistic and will eat cake, popcorn and bits of bread. They have been known to eat discarded animal protein such as meat from chicken bones and cheese from pizza crusts. Doves of all kinds will also eat worms, slugs, snails, insects and small lizards. Some doves have a preference for fruit.

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