We’re seeing a few tough Mourning Doves that decided not to migrate south. These birds are the most abundant game birds in North America. They’re hunted in 42 states, but not in most of New England, where only Rhode Island has a Mourning Dove season.
These birds are not easy targets: they can reach flight speeds of 55 miles per hour. Reported annual hunting harvests range from 20 to 70 million birds. Yet, the birds’ conservation status is of “Least Concern.” They eat primarily seeds and grains, with an occasional snail for an appetizer. Their cooing was once thought (incorrectly) to be a rain predictor, so they’re called “Rain Doves” in some areas.
Mourning Doves are one of the few birds capable of “sonation”: making a unique sound with a body part other than their voice – they can use their wings to make a whistling notice when taking off and landing. (Brooklin, Maine)