This Mourning Dove posed for me last summer at the Carleton College arboretum. Mourning Doves are abundant and widespread across North America. Eastern birds are larger and darker than western ones, and the two populations are distinct subspecies.
These doves owe their suceess to being habitat generalists. They are found both in farm country and in cities. The total population in the United States is estimated at 350 million. The Mourning Dove is our most popular gamebird, with hunters taking over 20 million birds every year. Mourning Doves live only about a year, even without hunting pressure, but they can bring off nestlings every 30 days. Where weather prermits, they can breed all year (Otis et al. 2008).