There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mourning Dove

Zenaida macroura

Large, plump dove
Long, pointed tail
Small head
Gray-brown to buff-tan
Black spots on wings
Small, dark bill
   Pinkish chest
   Blue-gray crown

Listen to its song.

There had been numerous sightings of these birds on Dooley Road and Lochside Drive recently. After a number of misses, our visits to the area finally coincided.  I found these two birds perched on a telephone wire by the side of the road. 

All my life, I thought these birds were Morning Doves. Maybe they like to come out in the early part of the day. Apparently, it gets its name from its mournful song. Boy, do I feel silly. Stupid homonyms!

Learn more about the Mourning Dove.

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