Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Mourning Dove
 
 

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  Order Columbiformes - Columbiforms
   Family Columbidae - Pigeons and Doves

  Columbiforms include two groups: the extinct Dodo and solitaire and modern pigeons and doves.
Pigeons and Doves are compact with short necks and small heads. They bob their head as they walk. The bill is slender and may be constricted in the middle. Nostrils are found within a fleshy cere. Many feed their young a crop secretion ("crop milk"). Most are able to suck water from a puddle rather than depend passively on gravity when they drink.
Large American Doves (Zenaida) are birds of open country. They are able to take advantage of man-made changes and are not abundant in many regions.
 
Other Doves
 
     
  Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
 
   Cornell     USGS     Wiki     ToL     EoL
        YEAR ROUND - Common, breeds / Common, breeds
            OPEN WOODLAND, SUBURBS, DUNES
MORE PICTURES
 
   The Mourning Dove is a year-round resident found in open habitats and on the dunes behind the beach. They are common ground birds on the island. They are medium-sized birds with a small head, a slender body, and relatively fleshy pinkish legs and feet. They have a pale blue eye ring and their wings are flecked with black spots. The tail is tapered with white tips and black bands on the feathers. They are smaller than the Eurasian Collared Dove. Mourning Doves are the most hunted game bird in the country.
Mourning Dove
     
Mourning Dove. Clemson. Molting individual
   
  RANGE: Mourning Doves breed in all areas of the US and south central Canada south the the central plateau of Mexico and the West Indies. In winter, they withdraw from the northern parts of their range (from the Great Lakes south). They winter south to central Panama.
  BREEDING:  Monogamous. 2-3 (3-6) broods. Mourning Doves may breed at any time but they normally lay their first clutch in later February or March. They build a flimsy nest of sticks and twigs in a fork of a tree branch (or even on the ground). The male brings materials and the female builds - the nest may be reused. They lay 2 (2-3 eggs) which are incubated for 13-14 days [this is a very fast incubation for a non-passerine and approaches the minimum of 11-12 days for that group.]. The eggs are always covered - males incubate most of the day, the female when he is not present and all night. Young are altricial and are able to fly after 12-14 days. Both sexes care for the young. They are fed crop milk for 3 days, then milk mixed with seeds and, after 6-8 days, entirely seeds. Males produce crop milk for 3-6 days longer than females.
   Nests with more than 4 eggs are due to brood parasitism by another female.
   Doves typically raise 2-3 broods/year but may raise as many as 6 sets of young. They are our most abundant dove and are our most widely hunted game bird.
   Doves typically flock for much of the year but they are not colonial breeders.
  DIET: Seeds (99% of diet). May eat snails and insects (rarely).
  VOICE: Their voice is a soft, mournful hooting and their wings make a distinctive whistling when they fly.
  NOTES:
   Checklists -
      Seabrook (breeds). Kiawah - common year round (breeds). Edisto - resident.
      Coastal - common permanent resident. Hilton Head - common permanent resident. Cape Romain - common year-round, breeds.
         Huntington Beach - common, year-round
      Caw Caw - uncommon year -round, breeds. ACE - common year-round, breeds.
   Kiawah Island banding - Capn' Sam's spit - 1 Aug 2009; 1 Oct 2011; 1 Aug 2012.
   CBC: ACE 288, 204, 164, 297, 676, 251, 201, 3224; Charleston 102, 118, 25, 136, 34, 228, 53, 54;
            St, Helena/Fripp x, x, x, x, x, x, 139, 295; Hilton Head 368, 314, 163, 359, 106, 184, 171, 187;
               Sun City/Okatie 95, 197, 112, 173, 55, 122, 216, 88;
            McClellanville 58, 15, 94, 34, nc, 51, 131, 117; Winyah Bay x, x, 239, 243, 113, 53, 109, 130;
               Litchfield/Pawley's 464, 383, 314, 281, 254, 460, 219, 267.
   SCBBA: Widespread breeding bird through the state. All areas.
   P&G: Very common resident. Egg dates: 10 February - December.
   Avendex: 1 record.
   Potter: Abundant permanent resident. It occurs i open country such as fields, woodland margins, and suburban neighborhoods, but is scarce in dense woods.
  ●  Mourning Doves are common on Seabrook in open habitats, along our estuaries, and they regularly feed in the sandy areas behind the fore dunes (where you should also expect Common Ground-doves).
   
   
Other Doves

   Many species of doves have been transported and introduced into new environments (check the birds of places like Hawaii). These populations are dynamic - many spread widely, others are less successful. Some may become pests. Doves also colonize areas directly, including many islands. On islands, some may become flightless (the Dodo and Solitaire - large flightless doves known as "didines" - are referred to in the characterization of the order).
       
    Banner - Mourning Dove. Freshfields.
       
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