The Subdued Beauty of Mourning Doves

/, Box Elder County, Mourning Doves, Utah/The Subdued Beauty of Mourning Doves

Box Elder County Mourning Dove maleBox Elder County Mourning Dove male – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The subdued beauty of Mourning Doves is often overlooked especially if there are more colorful birds around but for me their beauty is undeniable. I see the doves at home but prefer to photograph them in areas that are wilder and where I can find them on natural perches of all kinds.

Mourning Dove on a lichen covered boulderMourning Dove on a lichen covered boulder – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Last week I photographed this male Mourning Dove on a lichen covered boulder in Box Elder County and I loved how the images showed the pink and gold iridescent colors on his neck. The iridescence is subtle but delightful to my eyes.

The bright lichens in these images are in sharp contrast with the subdued colors of the dove and the out of focus grasses in the background and I almost wish they weren’t quite as bright as they are because they do draw my eyes away from the dove at times.

Male Mourning Dove about to take flightMale Mourning Dove about to take flight- Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I enjoy looking at the earthy tones of the dove’s plumage, its shape, pointed tail, that tiny bill and the pastel blue orbital ring around its ebony eyes. Their beauty whispers like a soft spring breeze.

Life is good.

Mia

12 Comments

  1. Liv May 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    ISSHO CUTE!!!

  2. Utahbooklover May 17, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Nicely written post. The Eurasian collared-dove is similar looking but less mournful sounding to my ear; worst of all is the terrible sounding call it also makes, something like a sick crow. A very successful invasive species that began in the Middle East, well established here in Brigham City I’m sorry to say.

  3. Bill Richmond May 17, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Great light on these very nice captures Mia!

  4. Larry Muench May 16, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    I’ve never before seen the iridescence or noticed the blue ring around the eye! Thanks for the great photos.

  5. Patty Chadwick May 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Love the soft, subtle colors….I like their shape, too…and the hentle sounds they make….still haven’t figured out how their wings make that whistling sound….

  6. Elephant's Child May 16, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    There is a heap of beauty and charm in almost everything when we take the time to look. thank you.

    • Mia McPherson May 16, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you EC, some times I think the birds whose beauty whispers are the most charming.

  7. Joan Carey May 16, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Lovely images, I have always enjoyed doves, both their looks and vocals. It wasn’t until I saw your spelling of it’s name, ‘Mourning Dove’ that I realized it wasn’t a ‘Morning Dove’. Mia I’m curious, do you have any info on why it is named ‘Mourning Dove’?

    • Mia McPherson May 16, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Joan, I believe it got is name “mourning” because some people think their call sounds mournful. I don’t!

      • Joan Carey May 17, 2016 at 10:55 am

        Mia, I don’t find the doves sounds mournful either. In my mind, I think of their calls to one another as endearing & loving. When I hear doves, it is soothing & makes me smile.

  8. Bob McPherson May 16, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Beautiful images, Mia.

Comments are closed.