These great birds live in harmony, but they do have a very settled life. they experience a lot of things and they live their life in a way that guides us as well.
Slimmer than pigeons and about 12 inches in length. Mourning Doves have a soft gray-brown body and a gray patch on the head. Black dots on their wings and a single black spot behind and below the eyes.
When perching you’ll notice a long tapered tail. In flight you’ll see that the tail has a white-edged.Common at bird feeders. Try placing bird seed in a tray or platform feeder like the one pictured at right. It’s important to keep the seed off the ground. White millet, Safflower and cracked corn are the most common seeds they eat. Try offering safflower seed and you’ll also get Northern Cardinals eating at your feeders.
How do doves mate
These birds prefer open land with scattering of trees and shrubs for cover and nesting. Except for wetland and dense forest, mourning doves can be found most anywhere.They are one of the most widespread and adaptable North American birds. The best garden habitat includes open lawn, herbaceous borders, and flower beds, with scattered patches of trees and shrubs.
Beginning as early as March, these birds begin nest building. A loose nest of twigs, grass, weeds and pine needles. Their stress loose because their nest can be so lightly put together that often you can see through it from the bottom.Many folks wonder if they should help the birds out. For the most part, suggested is leave it alone, but I’m not there looking at it like you are.If startled they may fly off the nest too quickly and the eggs could fall from the nest. Bird watchers would be wise to wait until the eggs have hatched before approaching any nest.
Upon initial introduction to a new mate, the male dove will often engage in a loud display of bowing & cooing at the new intruder. He may also peck, bite and chase the new, uninvited female guest, sometimes cackling maniacally in the process. The reaction and degree will depend on the personality of the male. Usually, the display does not last more than a day or two before they settle down to sharing a perch and eating together and begin to accept the company of the other. The male may see to peck at (Drive) the female if there are other males nearby, to assert his ownership and let her know to stay away from other males. Blocking their view of the other males will be essential to reducing the “driving” of the female. A towel on the cage works well for blocking the view of the other males.
If the female had a former mate that she can hear, it may take a long time until she accepts the new male, unless her former mate is also distracted with the introduction of a new female so he will not continue to call for his old mate.
One exception I have witnessed, where a male would not accept a new female was due to her coloring which was identical to a dominant male known by the group. All of the males rejected her as a male. The problem was solved by pairing her with a new male who was not familiar with the male whom she resembled.
The first signs of imminent mating will be preening. First the doves will preen their own feathers near the new mate and once both are preening at once, the next sign of progress will be to start preening each other. As the preening is accepted by the other mate, they will move the preening toward the face and neck. The male will start cooing on the perch with his head down at a 45 degree angle while flicking his wings with a rasping sound. He will tilt his head with a coy look to gain attention from the female.
Preening around the bill will soon become “billing” where the two doves nibble each other’s bill. The male will open his bill for the female to mimic the feeding ritual. He will raise his head and neck up and down a few times to regurgitate a small amount of food from his crop which the females will partake during the “billing” ritual as she inserts her bill into the males mouth, sometimes, very deeply and aggressively while wobbling her wings like a baby bird, which she will do each time she wants the male to allow her to partake food from his mouth. This is a very personal and sensual ritual for the doves. If the female is close to egg gestation, she will become very aggressive in her advances and billing. During the normal billing, it is common for both doves to pause to preen their feathers. In this way, they are preparing the feathers for the mating. If the vent or tail feathers clump or get in the way, the mating will be unsuccessful. The wing feathers must not have any problems while the male is fluttering his wings to maintain his balance. When the female is ready, she will crouch down low and flatten her body to allow the male to mount. He may stop to preen just before mounting her.
The Mating Mount:
Once the male has jumped onto the female’s back, both facing the same direction, he will need to have enough room to fully flutter his wings to hover in place while holding onto the female’s back feathers with his feet and claws, while maneuvering his tail around the side of the female’s tail to position his cloaca (vent) underneath to contact with the female’s cloaca. There is no external difference between the male and female sex organs. It is basically a sphincter type opening for both defecation and reproduction.
This entire mounting and mating process takes only a few seconds. As the male is maneuvering around and beneath the female’s tail, he is flapping his wings vigorously to maintain his position and is nearly falling off of her back at the moment of contact. When the male dismounts at the end of the mating, one or both doves may utter a quick laugh. I have noticed that it appears that the laugh is acknowledgement between the doves that the male was successful in making contact. If both doves laugh, the mating was achieved. If only the male laughs, he thought he was successful but apparently missed the mark. I have noticed that this seems consistent with a bad mount where he loses his balance. It is further confirmed by the female’s attempt to start billing within a few minutes of completion of the mating encounter, which implies that he did not get it right and they may repeat the process again within a few minutes.