One of our most abundant birds in North America, the Mourning Dove boasts a population in the United States of over 350 million individuals. Commonly found delicately perched along telephone wires and strutting around the base of backyard feeders, these graceful species are a familiar sight to many.
Named after their mournful coo, this dove reminds us of the softer sides of our natural world, lulling us into a sense of peace with their rippling "Coo-OOO-ooo-ooo". While serene in rest, Mourning Doves are capable of a powerful liftoff, bursting forth with fast, whistling wingbeats in a bullet straight ascent when startled.
The Mourning dove is the most popular gamebird species in the US, with almost 20 million harvested each year on average. The hunting pressure is made sustainable with possession limits set state by state and habitat is often created by sportsman organizations, supporting the already large population of these elegant birds. As ground foragers, the main conservation concern lies within lead poisoning as individuals pick at the leftover lead shot pellets in hunting fields thinking that they are seeds. This can be easily resolved through the use of non-toxic birdshot, a good tool to adopt for any hunter regardless of the species pursued.