Mourning dovesMarch 2006


Mourning doves are beautiful birds with a soulful call. They happily collect seed that the smaller birds toss from our feeders. I also come across them in the game land out back.

A mourning dove pair is very affectionate, as the following photos show. (My informal title for this sequence is "love doves.")

Mourning doves looking at each other
  After a good, long look at each other, the doves began necking or kissing. First on one side.
Mourning doves necking, part 1
  And then on the other.
Mourning doves necking, part 2
  After a break, I had the distinct impression that they didn't want to be photographed anymore; they wanted a little privacy.
Mourning doves wanting privacy
  Incidentally, if you live in Michigan, there's the Committee to Restore the Dove Shooting Ban, which has the following purpose:
    This Committee is a grassroots citizen effort to restore Michigan's 100-year-old tradition of protecting the mourning dove in our state as a backyard songbird. Just recently, our Legislature declared our doves game birds stripping away their century-old status of protected songbird. So, last year thousands of concerned Michigan citizens collected more than 275,000 petition signatures to qualify a referendum for the November 2006 ballot, which will allow registered voters the right to decide the issue of shooting doves within our state borders.
Voting can make a difference.

11 November 2006 update: Michigan voted "no" and maintained the mourning dove's protected status. Success!

Photo note: I used a Pentax *ist D, with the SMC-A* 300mm lens for these photos, which were taken in April 2005, at Cooper's Pond, State College, Pennsylvania.

My Pennsylvania bird list   |   Mourning doves 2

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