Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bird Watching: "early morning mourning dove"

It is early morning and I resisted turning on the flash on my camera. Therefore the photos are of poor quality. At times like this I turn to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology for clearer pictures.

["From The Cornell Lab's exhaustive website"]

     Mourning Dove: A graceful, slender-tailed,
     small-headed dove that’s common across the
     continent. Mourning Doves perch on telephone
     wires and forage for seeds on the ground. 

Though generally seen on the ground in Gord's backyard, one occasionally supplements its breakfast by visiting his feeder. (Gord must put out a nice seed mix on a regular basis).

     Their flight is fast and bullet straight. Their soft,
     drawn-out calls sound like laments. When taking
     off, their wings make a sharp whistling or whinny
     -ing. Mourning Doves are the most frequently
     hunted species in North America.
     [The Cornell Lab]

I find that last line quite interesting but not unbelievable because I recall pigeons used to be a common Sunday supper across North America. I also handled frozen gaming hens - not any bigger than a pigeon or dove - as a teenager while working at a grocery store in Norwich, Ontario. More details follow, from the The Globe and Mail, October, 2013: 

     Dawn Sucee, a fish and wildlife biologist with
     Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, said
     she is both a birder and naturalist, but she supports
     hunting mourning doves, which are abundant and
     prolific - some raise six broods in a year. "They make
     excellent table fare. You can grill them, broil them,
     roast them," Ms. Sucee said. "They are an excellent
     choice for Canadians who, out of concern for the
     environment or a desire to support the local economy,
     choose to eat food grown close to home."

["Gord, you're looking at me funny today!"] 

Undoubtedly, my mourning dove is close to home but I'm not ready yet to make it my evening meal. Though I must say, it's nice and plump!

Photos by GH

Please click here for more Bird Watching

No comments: