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Mourning Dove and Chick

Copyright Barbara Samuelson 1996

This Mourning Dove nested in a planter box where I live. She initally laid two small eggs and had both successfully hatch. Only one chick survived. She and her mate were most diligent diligent parents, enduring everyone at the place taking pictures of them and there chick, sitting through a downpour of rain several nights. There are several mating pairs that return each year to nest in the planter boxes around the complex.

The Mourning Dove is hunted extensively in some parts of North America, and it is estimated that more than half of the young birds born each spring do not live beyond their first year. Fortunately, these birds raise two to four broods each season, and so the Mourning Dove is still common. The sad notes of the bird's song are usually heard just before dawn in the spring and summer. The Mourning Dove is 11-13", slim, with a small head and long, tapered tail. It is a soft sandy brown or brownish gray above, with a few black spots; paler below, sometimes washed with pale cinnamon; tail feathers tipped with white. It's voice is a low, sad whoo-oo, hoo, hoo, hoo; the second note rises sharply.

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