Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Mourning Dove - National Bird of British Virgin Islands

The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the dove family (Columbidae). The bird is also called the Turtle Dove or the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove, and formerly was known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtledove. It is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds.

Interesting & Amazing facts about Mourning Dove are:

  1. It has a graceful, slender-tail, small-head.
  2. They are light grey and brown and generally muted in color.
  3. Males and females are similar in appearance.
  4. They’re delicate brown to buffy-tan overall, with black spots on the wings and black-bordered white tips to the tail feathers.
  5. They fly fast on powerful wing beats, sometimes making sudden ascents, descents, and dodges, their pointed tails stretching behind them.
  6. During the breeding season, three Mourning Doves (two male and one female) flying in tight formation, one after another.
  7. They feed busily on the ground, swallowing seeds and storing them in an enlargement of the esophagus called the crop.
  8. They can drink brackish spring water (up to almost half the salinity of sea water) without becoming dehydrated the way humans would.
  9. Their head rests between their shoulders at the time of sleep.
  10. They lay two eggs and takes two weeks for incubation.
  11. Males and females work together to feed their new babies something called “crop milk” or “pigeon milk” for the first few days of their life.
  12. They are considered closely related to the late, lamented passenger pigeons.
  13. They also have another name in French “Tourterelle triste” and in Spanish “Huilota”.
  14. It is a national bird of British Virgin Islands.

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