Turtle Dove

The Mourning Dove is a member of the dove family (Columbidae). The bird is also called the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove, and formerly was known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtledove. It is a medium-sized, slender dove approximately 31 cm (12 in) in length. Mourning Doves have perching feet, with three toes forward and one reversed. The legs are short and reddish coloured. The beak is short and dark, usually a brown-black hue.

The turtle dove is one of the most popular birds of North America. During the breeding season, you might see three Mourning Doves flying in tight formation, one after another. This is a form of social display. Typically the bird in the lead is the male of a mated pair. The second bird is an unmated male chasing his rival from the area where he hopes to nest. The third is the female of the mated pair, which seems to go along for the ride.

These doves get their source of meal by feeding busily on the ground. They tend to eat roughly 12 to 20 percent of their body weight per day. They are also capable of drinking brackish spring water without becoming dehydrated the way humans would.