Discover the fascinating world of doves in Wyoming! These stocky birds, known for their short necks and seed-heavy diet, are a common sight in backyards across the state. In this article, you’ll learn about three types of doves that call Wyoming home: the Mourning Dove, the Rock Pigeon, and the Eurasian Collared-Dove. From their distinctive features to their unique behaviors, each dove species has its own story to tell. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or just curious about the wildlife around you, this article is sure to deepen your appreciation for these peaceful and beautiful creatures.
3 Doves That Live In Wyoming!
Wyoming is home to a variety of bird species, including three types of doves that can be found throughout the state. These doves, the Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, and Eurasian Collared-Dove, each have their own unique characteristics and behaviors. In this article, we will explore each of these doves in detail, including their identifying characteristics, range maps, habitat and distribution, feeding habits, vocalizations, and more.
The Mourning Dove is a commonly seen dove in Wyoming, known for its grayish plumage with large black spots on its wings and a long, thin tail. Both males and females have pinkish legs, a black bill, and a distinctive blue eye-ring. This dove can often be found perched high up in trees or on telephone wires near homes, as well as on the ground where they do most of their feeding.
Mourning Doves are frequent visitors to bird feeding stations, and they can be attracted by providing their favorite foods such as millet, shelled sunflower seeds, Nyjer seeds, cracked corn, and safflower seeds. They prefer flat surfaces for feeding, so the best feeders for them are trays or platforms.
In terms of breeding and nesting, Mourning Doves are prolific breeders, with females having 3 to 6 broods each breeding season. The young only stay in the nest for a maximum of 15 days, but they stay nearby to be fed by their parents for about another week. If you hear a low cooing sound, that’s likely a Mourning Dove. Their mournful cooing is how they got their name and is often mistaken for the sound of an owl.
The Rock Pigeon, often referred to as just a “pigeon,” is another common dove species found in Wyoming. They are easily identifiable with their plump bodies, small heads, short legs, and thin bills. While their typical plumage is gray on the back, blue-grey on the head, and with two black wing bars, their plumage can vary greatly, ranging from all-white to rusty-brown.
Rock Pigeons are most commonly found in urban areas, where they gather in large flocks. They are easily attracted to bird feeders, especially if there is leftover food lying on the ground. However, their presence in high numbers can become overwhelming, and many people look for ways to keep them away from their backyards.
The vocalizations of Rock Pigeons are soft and throaty coos, which you may already recognize if you’ve heard them in your area. These birds have a long history of association with humans, with evidence suggesting that they were domesticated over 5,000 years ago.
The Eurasian Collared-Dove is an invasive species in Wyoming, first introduced to the Bahamas in the 1970s. Since then, they have rapidly spread, and their population is still expanding. This dove species is mostly sandy brown in color, with a long, square-tipped tail and a distinctive black collar on the back of the neck.
Eurasian Collared-Doves have thrived in urban and suburban areas, as well as around bird feeders. They are commonly seen on the ground or platform feeders, feeding on grains and seeds. Their vocalizations include a “koo-KOO-kook” song, with the middle syllable being longer than the first and last one.
It is important to note that Eurasian Collared-Doves can be easily mistaken for Mourning Doves due to their similar appearance. However, there are key differences that can help differentiate them. Mourning Doves are smaller and have black dots on their wings, while Eurasian Collared-Doves are larger and have a black crescent around their neck.
In conclusion, Wyoming is home to three distinct dove species: the Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, and Eurasian Collared-Dove. Each of these doves has its own unique characteristics, range maps, feeding habits, and vocalizations. While Mourning Doves are commonly found throughout the state and are frequent visitors to bird feeding stations, Rock Pigeons are mainly seen in urban areas and may require deterrence measures in high numbers. Eurasian Collared-Doves, on the other hand, are invasive in Wyoming and have rapidly colonized the state.
It is always an exciting experience to spot these doves in the wild or in your own backyard. By understanding their identifying characteristics and behaviors, you will be better equipped to recognize and appreciate these beautiful birds. So keep an eye out for the Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, and Eurasian Collared-Dove during your next bird-watching adventure in Wyoming!
- The Birds of The World
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology