Winner: Red-winged Blackbird with Sunflowers by Janet Busi.
This month’s bird is the Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura). The Mourning Dove is in the same family as the Eurasian Collared Dove and the Rock Pigeon. The Mourning Dove received its name from its distinct melancholy “Cooing” call, hence the term “mourning”. You may have incidentally heard the Mourning Dove, as its call is often used as a sound effect in cinema and television.
Mourning Doves eat seeds and frequently visit seed feeders. They are voracious eaters and eat up to 10-20% of their body weight per day. If you have a seed bird feeder, mourning doves may come visit you. If you do not have a feeder, the doves are often seen at Idlewild Park, Rancho San Rafael and Oxbow Nature Center.
To learn more about Mourning Doves and to hear their call, visit the Audubon's Field Guide: