Mourning Dove

After I published my article titled Wild and Wonderful – Antelope Island – The Birds earlier this week I realized I didn’t include any images of the doves found on the island so today I thought I would post a Mourning Dove.

Mourning Dove stretching

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) stretching  Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/750, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Mourning Doves are the most widespread and abundant member of its family in North America. They are medium sized doves with small heads, thin dark bills, blue eye rings and pink legs and toes. Their call is a soft hoO-Oo-oo hoo-hoo-hoo and sometimes people mistake that sound for an owl.

Right after I spotted this Mourning Dove resting on a rock in the warmth of sunrise it began to stretch and gave me a great series of images of the action.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. I remember back in 4th grade and having to do a verbal presentation on a bird species, that included performing its song/call; I chose the Mourning Dove. Despite being nervous and unprepared, I didn’t do too bad. Seeing them now always bring back those memories.

  2. Wonderful capture Mia, Mourning Doves have lovely subtle colors.

  3. I agree with Bob. I’ve seen a lot of Mourning Dove poses but never one that showed the plumage in such beautiful variety and light. The way the tail fans out is spectacular.

    • Ingrid, I guess I hadn’t paid attention before I took this image to the wonderful tail patterns Mourning Doves have when the tail is fanned out like this doves was, maybe I had only seen it from the top prior to this image. Thanks for your wonderful comment.

  4. Great photo of the Mourning Dove, Mia. It has persoality. Their call sounds to me like it is saying, “Who cooks for youoooooo”.

    • Thanks Bob! I sure liked the poses this dove gave me that day.

      When I hear “who cooks for you” I think of the Barred Owls who used to hang out in my woods when I lived on the east coast. It was such a wonderful night time serenade!

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