By Amanda Moses
Spring Creek Towers’ birdwatchers have spotted so many species of birds in the community, from Hawks to Red-bellied Woodpeckers, but one bird they might just miss is the Mourning Dove. Many confuse the
Mourning Dove as just a brown pigeon; however, they are a completely different species. Mourning Doves are light brown, rotund birds with a long-tail, short legs and a small head. These delicate creatures fly gracefully over grassland foraging for grains, peanuts, wild grass, weeds, herbs, berries and snails. In addition, they eat about 20 percent of their bodyweight daily and can survive in a desert because they “can drink brackish spring water (up to almost half the salinity of sea water) without becoming dehydrated the way humans would,” according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They emit soft, cooing calls and are extremely fast flyers. This species is commonly found throughout the United States year round in all areas except deep woods. They are particularly fond of fields or perching on buildings and telephone wires. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the oldest recorded Mourning Dove was about 31 years old.
Unfortunately, the Mourning Dove is one of the most hunted birds in the United States. Hunters shoot and kill more than 20 million Mourning Doves each year. Don’t forget to send the Spring Creek Sun photos of the birds you have encountered in the SCT community! Email your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Shanthanu Bhardwaj via Flickr.