August 20, 2010

by

David lived on the Medano Ranch for several years and is now raising his two sons on Chico Basin Ranch with his wife Tess.

When most people think of a dove they think of the white dove, the dove of peace.

One of the most common dove species however is the mourning dove, also known as the turtle dove, which is all over the ranch right now. Every year around this time the dove begin to grow in numbers and feast on the sunflowers that dot the highways and prairies.

This year there are a lot of sunflowers and a lot of really fat dove as a result. Most of the time you can find the dove around water sources and prolific sunflowers and when you go by their favorite spots they flee to safety in huge numbers that continue to grow.

They like the safety of dead tree limbs and power lines to have a clear line of sight at their surroundings.

This is a very cool bird that you’ve probably seen before or at least heard. These are the birds that you can hear cooing deep and sad songs early in the morning. I always thought they were called morning doves because I always heard them in the mornings, but they are actually called mourning doves because of their sad songs.

In addition to their unique singing abilities, they also make a whistling noise with their wings when they fly. This is probably due to the speed at which they fly – up to 55mph.

They will be gone soon at the first cold snap which usually comes around the first or second week of September. At that point the majority of the dove move down south where they stay until things warm back up, so as quickly as their numbers swell they will be gone and their sweet, sad little songs will be filling the mornings of our neighbors down south.