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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Whose Silhouette?

Some birds have a distinctive silhouette and are recognizable even if the light is such that you can't get any detail. This is one such bird. Do you know what it is?

mourning dove

I'm reminded of the banner I saw in a church once that was supposed to celebrate the Holy Spirit being like a dove. Unfortunately, the person who made the banner wasn't a birder, and had chosen a silhouette of a robin to cut from white felt for the decoration! Not at all like a dove. Yes, this is a mourning dove.

mourning dove

Zenaida macroura is called the mourning dove for its plaintive, sad cooing. It's considered the closest living relative of the extinct passenger pigeon. Their wings also make a whistling sound when they take flight.

mourning dove

For some reason I can't quite explain, I don't like them very much. Maybe their cooing is annoying. They are very attractive in a muted way when seen up close.

Also, when seen flying, from the rear, there is a lozenge shape outline of white showing in their tail feathers.

They eat seeds almost exclusively, and will often clean up seeds spilled to the ground from feeders.

Mourning doves are nearly ubiquitous in the United States.

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The Furry Gnome said...

Nice pictures of it too.

Secondary Roads said...

We see a lot of them around here. They are not fussy about where they build their nests. Okay, they do a little better than the killdeer. :)

vanilla said...

Nice post for the mourning dove. I rather like the coo-coo and the whir of the wings. I think they are silly, though, often placing their shoddily-built nests within easy reach of the neighbor's cat, or the curious little boys wandering by.

Sharkbytes said...

Stew- best I've gotten to date

Chuck- nests look like a disaster, but they have such breeding success, you can't argue with them.

Vanilla- At a rate of 5-6 broods a year, I'm thinking they don't have to be too cautious.

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