Outdoors Journal: Wintering mourning doves

  • Article by: JIM GILBERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 23, 2012 - 11:41 PM

Usually, by this time, we hear the first hollow, mournful cooing of the mourning dove. Such wintering over birds always are heard cooing by the first week in March, heralding spring. It's the male mourning doves that produce the distinctive four-part song -- "coah, cooo, cooo, cooo." At a distance, only the three coos may be audible.

Thirty five years ago, a wintering mourning dove was a fairly rare sight in the Twin Cities. Now they are quite common at feeding stations in southern Minnesota throughout the frozen season. However, most still head for the southern U.S. in autumn. Reports from avid birders confirm that the mourning dove's winter range is moving north. Our warmer winters and proliferating feeding stations probably account for the extended range.

Pairs of mourning doves are commonly seen in the summer on utility wires or picking up gravel along roadsides. These birds are a foot long, have small heads and long pointed tails. They are gray and brown, and their tails are bordered with large white spots. The whistling of their wings is distinctive.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


Philadelphia 1 Top 7th Inning
NY Mets 4
Milwaukee 4 Top 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Arizona 2 Top 7th Inning
Cincinnati 0
Washington 1 Top 6th Inning
Miami 1
Oakland 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Houston 0
Pittsburgh - C. Morton 2:45 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
LA Angels - G. Richards 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Seattle - F. Hernandez 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:08 PM
Detroit - M. Scherzer
Toronto - M. Buehrle 6:10 PM
Boston - B. Workman
Colorado - B. Anderson 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 7:05 PM
Texas - C. Lewis
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - D. Duffy
Atlanta - A. Wood 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
St. Louis - J. Kelly 9:10 PM
San Diego - J. Hahn
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Toronto FC 6:00 PM
Colorado 6:30 PM
New England
Vancouver FC 7:30 PM
Red Bull New York 8:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question