L = 12" (31cm). Sexes similar. Overall brown with long, pointed tail
and black spots in the wings.
Song is a distinctive, mournful-sounding,
"hoowoo, hoo, hoo, hoo." In flight, wings often make a "clapping"
sound and the tail shows white outer tail feathers.
NATURAL HISTORY: With their strong, "jet fighter" shaped wings,
mourning doves are fast fliers, allowing them to forage great distances
for the often localized, temporary sources of food and water occuring
in the desert. Mourning doves are commonly seen year-round in the Tucson
area, often perching in large numbers along telephone wires. Their nests
are commonly found, and consist of a flimsy pile of sticks put on almost
anything (but most commonly on tree or cactus limbs). They often will
let you get very close to them while they are sitting on their nest. See
Dove Natural History for more.