(Zenaida macroura). Patient Number 22-1837.
Date of admission: October 21, 2022.
Reason for admission: Physical injury.
The mourning dove is a member of the dove family. This bird is also commonly called the turtle dove or rain dove and has been formerly known as the Carolina pigeon or Carolina turtle dove. The mourning dove is one of the most abundant bird species in North America, its range spans southern Canada, the Continental United States and most of Mexico. In Alberta, mourning doves are typically spotted during the summer months. Although some small populations will overwinter, the majority of the doves choose to migrate south.
The mourning dove is highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of open habitats, including farms, prairie grasslands, lightly wooded areas and urban developments. These doves eat a variety of seeds which make up more than 99% of their diet. Preferred seeds include canola, corn, millet, sesame, sunflower and wheat. These doves will eat until their crops are full, then fly away to rest while digesting.
During the mating season, the male leads the female to a potential nest site for her approval; the female chooses the most suitable spot. Usually in a tree or shrub, or on a very flimsy platform of twigs. Unlike other bird species, which have a tendency to rear only one batch of young in the summer and spring months, mourning doves can have an upwards of 5-6 broods per year in any season. Incubation is about 14 days and the young leave the nest at about 15 days.
This juvenile mourning dove was found hiding in a chicken coop after her family migrated. After her arrival at our clinic it was found that she was suffering from a wound on the left side of her body, as well as evidence of missing tail feathers. It is suspected she was caught by a cat. As her species has now migrated from Alberta, she will remain with us until the spring. Thank you for supporting her care!
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