4 Types Of Doves in Michigan (With Photos & Facts)

If you love doves in Michigan, you’re in for a treat. In this article, we’ll show you the beauty and diversity of Michigan’s mourning doves, one of the most common and graceful birds in the state. You’ll learn about their characteristics, habitats, and behaviors, and see stunning images of them in action. Whether you’re a hunter or a birdwatcher, you’ll find something to enjoy in this article. Don’t miss this chance to discover the wonders of doves in Michigan!

Key Takeaways

  • Mourning doves are a common sight in Michigan’s diverse habitats.
  • Michigan is home to various dove species, each with unique features.
  • Michigan’s mourning doves breed prolifically and have fascinating habits and behaviors.
  • The debate over mourning dove hunting continues to be a topic of concern in Michigan.
  • Mourning doves hold cultural significance and inspire myths and artistic representations.

The Types of Doves Found in Michigan

Michigan offers a welcoming habitat for various dove species. Currently, four Dove species live in Michigan.

Name Description Region
Mourning Dove The most common dove in Michigan,with tapered wings, a long tail, and a light brown color.The male has a distinctive neck iridescence,while the female has a duller color. Statewide
Eurasian collared-dove A dove with a thick neckband, a broad tail,and a light- to medium-brown hue. It’s common in urban areas andfeeds on the ground. Southern Michigan
Rock Pigeon Aka the Rock Dove, is usually blue-greywith two black bars on its wings and white patches on the neck.It’s recognized for its egg-laying capabilities, which are useful for scientific research. Statewide
White-winged Dove A rare dove species found in the southernmost portion ofthe Lower Peninsula. Has distinctive white wing patches,bluish-gray wings, and a tan head. Southern Michigan

From the rural expanses of the Upper Peninsula to the quaint villages in the lower peninsula, distinct dove species make Michigan a delightful place for bird watching.

Mourning Doves: Michigan’s Common Visitor

Mourning Dove

If you are an avid bird watcher in Michigan, you’ve probably spotted a mourning dove or two. These beautiful birds with a unique cooing sound are the most common dove species found in Michigan. Their soft and peaceful call is considered by many as a symbol of comfort and hope.

Mourning doves are widely distributed throughout the state, from suburbs to farmlands and forests, and they can adapt to a wide range of environments. They have a preference for open areas with scattered trees and bushes where they can perch and look for food. However, they also managed to thrive in urban areas, where they are often seen perching on streetlights or feeding on the ground in parks.

Where Do Mourning Doves Live?

Mourning doves live in a variety of habitats, including open woodlands, scrublands, parks, farmlands, and forest edges. They can also adapt to the presence of humans, and you may spot them in gardens and backyards. Mourning doves can be seen across the United States, Mexico, and southern Canada. In Michigan, they are considered a permanent resident bird species, found throughout the state all year long.

Mourning Dove Population in Michigan

Mourning doves are a highly valued species, enjoyed by many hunters and bird enthusiasts. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the state’s mourning dove population is estimated to be around 5 million birds. This number reflects the total population of mourning doves in Michigan, including both resident and migratory birds.

Mourning Dove Population in Michigan Resident Population Migratory Population
Total Population (Estimated) 2 million mourning doves are estimated to be present in the state of Michigan 3 million
Population Trend Stable Decreasing

Note: The table above reflects the total mourning dove population in Michigan and highlights the difference between resident and migratory populations. The migratory population is in decline due to habitat loss, climate change, and other factors affecting nesting success and survival rates.

Despite their high numbers, mourning doves are currently protected under the federal migratory bird treaty act, which regulates the taking, possessing, and transportation of migratory birds, including hunting. However, there has been ongoing debate regarding whether they should be included in the game bird list in Michigan, which would allow a mourning dove hunting season in the state.

Fun fact: The oldest recorded mourning dove in Michigan was 5 years and 4 months old. The average lifespan of a mourning dove is around 2 years, but they can live up to 10-12 years in the wild.

If you’re lucky enough to spot a mourning dove in Michigan, take a moment to enjoy their graceful flight and listen to their soothing call. These common visitors are a beloved part of the state’s natural beauty and deserve our attention and care to protect their populations for generations to come.

Understanding Mourning Dove Habits and Behavior

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Mourning doves are fascinating birds with unique and distinct habits. As prolific breeders, they often raise 3 to 6 broods each breeding season, ensuring a healthy dove population in Michigan’s lush landscapes.

Aspect Details
Nesting Habits Mourning doves often build their nests in trees, shrubs, or on the ground. Their nests are simple and made of twigs, grasses, and other plant materials. The female dove lays 1 to 2 eggs at a time and both parents incubate them for about two weeks. Once hatched, the young are fed crop milk, a nutritious liquid produced by the parents, before transitioning to a diet of seeds.
Feeding Habits Young Mourning doves are ground feeders and primarily feed on seeds of grasses, weeds, and sunflower seeds along with cultivated crops like corn and soybeans. They are also known to visit backyard feeders, especially during the winter months. Their unique feeding habit involves searching the ground for food while keeping their heads down and occasionally picking up their heads to swallow the seeds.
Mating Habits Mourning doves courtship involves the male dove puffing up his chest and emitting a deep cooing sound to attract the female. The male dove also offers nest materials to the female and follows her around until she accepts his advances. Once the female agrees, they mate and form a lifelong bond that extends until the death of one of the partners.
Distinct Characteristics of a Flock Male and female mourning doves have distinct features that allow them to be easily identified. Males in a flock have a bluish-gray crown and nape, while females have a more brownish-gray hue. Additionally, females have a larger body size and a buff-colored throat patch, while males lack this patch.
Mourning Dove Hunting Mourning doves are a popular game bird in Michigan’s hunting season. Licensed hunters can legally hunt mourning doves during designated open hunting seasons from September to November. However, there is debate surrounding the ethics and impact of dove hunting on the dove population, and hunters must abide by regulations set by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to preserve the species.

Observing mourning doves in their natural habitat is a sight to behold. Their unique habits and graceful movements make them a beloved species in Michigan’s vast wilderness, and their presence adds to the diverse beauty of Michigan’s avian ecosystem.

The Dove Hunt Debate in Michigan

If you are a Michigan resident, you may have heard of the controversial topic of mourning dove hunting. Although these birds are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Michigan is one of the few states that does not enforce a hunting season ban on mourning doves.

Proponents argue that hunting can help manage the dove population and provide a source of recreation for hunters. Additionally, dove hunting is a tradition in some cultures and can generate revenue for the state through licensing fees.

Opponents, however, claim that a hunting season could potentially interfere with mourning dove populations that are already in decline. Furthermore, some argue that hunting these elegant birds is not ethical and goes against the principles of responsible wildlife management.

As of 2006, proposals for mourning dove hunting season have been voted down by Michigan voters.

Mourning Doves and Pigeons: What’s the Difference?

Mourning Doves and Pigeons

While mourning doves in the state of Michigan A flock of doves and pigeons, including young doves may appear similar to the untrained eye, they are, in fact, two distinct species of birds. For starters, mourning doves are smaller than pigeons, with longer tails and more pointed wings. Their coloring is also distinct, with a beige-gray body, pinkish breast, and a dark spot on their wings. Pigeons, on the other hand, are bulkier with a plump chest and round wings. They come in a variety of colors, including gray, black, and white.

Another significant difference between the two species is their habitat and behavior. Mourning doves are generally ground birds that forage for seeds and grains on the ground, while pigeons are better adapted to urban and city environments and often feed on scraps and litter. Additionally, the cooing sound of a mourning dove is distinct from the coo of a pigeon.

Characteristic Mourning Dove Pigeon
Size Smaller Bulkier
Wings Longer and more pointed feathers seen in a flock of mourning doves Shorter and more rounded
Coloring Beige-gray body, pinkish breast, dark spot on wings Gray, black, white, or multi-colored
Habitat Ground bird Mourning doves are better adapted to urban environments, often seen frequenting parks where discarded sunflower seeds are available
Feeding Habits Forages for seeds and grains on the ground Feeds on scraps and litter in urban areas

While it’s easy to mistake the two species, understanding their distinct differences is crucial for bird enthusiasts and hunters alike. Knowing how to identify these birds correctly can help hunters avoid accidentally targeting the wrong species, while also appreciating the unique characteristics and adaptations that make each species special.

The Beauty of Michigan’s Urban Doves

If you think doves only live in rural and suburban areas, think again! In the urban areas of Michigan, you can find two dove species exclusively found in urban areas – the Eurasian collared-dove and the rock pigeon. These doves have adapted to city environments to thrive and even prefer them to rural areas.

The Eurasian collared-dove, originally from Europe and Asia, is a recent addition to the Michigan dove population. It can be identified by its black collar around the neck and its light gray body. It prefers to perch high up on trees and feed on the ground, making it a common sighting in city parks and backyards.


The rock pigeon, also known as the street pigeon or city pigeon, is the most recognized and abundant urban dove species. Originally from Africa, it has become a worldwide urban dweller. It can thrive and breed in urban environments, with a preference for building ledges and bridges as its nesting spots. You can find them feeding in public squares, parking lots, and other urban areas where food is abundant.

Adapted to Urban Life

Urban environments offer doves easy access to food sources, water, and safe nesting sites. The abundance of accessible food in cities and towns is the primary reason that doves choose to live there. They can find food from bird feeders, discarded human food, sunflower seeds in parks, and lawns, are favored by mourning doves.

Both the Eurasian collared-dove and the rock pigeon have unique adaptations that make them successful urban dwellers. They are incredibly resilient, taking advantage of human structures such as buildings, bridges, and streetlights for nesting and roosting.

Urban Dove Diversity

Michigan’s urban areas provide diverse habitats for doves, with their unique architectural structures and plant life. Exploring the different types of doves in the city can be a fun and relaxing activity.

Dove Species Habitat Characteristic Features
Eurasian collared-dove Urban parks and backyards Black collar around the neck, light gray body
Rock pigeon City buildings, bridges, and rooftops Pale gray head and neck, dark iridescent wings, and two black bands on the tail

Take a stroll through your city and observe the stunning presence of urban doves.

Nuisance or Nurturers? Doves in Backyards

It’s common to find mourning doves visiting bird feeders in backyards. While many people enjoy their peaceful presence, some may find them overwhelming and seek ways to deter them. However, there are effective strategies to coexist peacefully with doves in your backyard Mourning doves and sandhill cranes together, while preserving their natural behavior.

One strategy is to place the bird feeder in an open area, away from the cover of trees and bushes. This way, predators like cats are less likely to ambush the doves. It’s also important to clean the area beneath the feeder regularly to prevent seeds from accumulating and attracting pests.

Another approach is to provide alternative feeding stations for the doves with seeds that are unappetizing to them, such as safflower and nyjer seeds. This can reduce competition between different bird species and prevent over-reliance on a single food source.

Finally, it’s crucial to appreciate the significant role that doves play in maintaining the bird population and ecological balance in your area. Rather than seeing them as a nuisance, consider planting plants and shrubs that provide nesting and roosting opportunities, and enjoy their soothing cooing as a pleasant addition to your backyard oasis.

Celebrating Michigan’s Dove Diversity

Michigan’s diverse landscapes and habitats are home to a variety of dove species. Each species has its unique characteristics, behavior patterns, and habitats, contributing to the rich avian biodiversity in the Great Lakes region.

Dove Species Habitat Distinct Features
Mourning dove Wide range; rural, suburban, and urban areas Pale, bluish-gray head and buff-colored breast with black teardrop markings
Eurasian collared-dove Urban and suburban areas Distinct black collar around the neck and light brown or gray feathers
Rock pigeon Urban areas, cliffs, and rocky habitats Gray-blue plumage, iridescent neck, and two distinctive black bars on the wings of the mourning dove, a popular game species
White-winged dove Rarely found in urban and suburban areas, prefers open habitats Grayish-brown overall color with a white wing patch and distinctive wing whistle

The mourning dove is the most abundant dove species in Michigan, and its population is widespread throughout the state. The Eurasian collared-dove and rock pigeon have adapted well to urbanization and are exclusively found in urban areas. The white-winged dove is a rare visitor in Michigan, mainly in the southwestern region, making sightings, and recordings significant to bird enthusiasts.

Michigan’s dove diversity is incredible, and each species contributes to the state’s ecosystem in its unique way. With effective conservation measures, these charismatic birds can continue to thrive in Michigan’s diverse habitats.

The Cultural Significance of Mourning Doves

White-winged Dove (Rare)

Mourning doves are revered in various cultures for their elegance, grace, and symbolism. The dove got its name from its cooing vocalization, which sounds like “coo-oo.” In many cultures, doves are a symbol of peace, love, and devotion.

There are several species of doves, but the mourning dove is the most common species found in North America.

Dove Species Cultural Significance
Mourning Doves Symbol of peace, love, and devotion in many cultures
Eurasian Collared-Doves Known as a symbol of domesticity and have been associated with home life
Rock Pigeons Sacred in various cultures, including Hinduism and Ancient Greece. They are associated with divinity, fertility, and renewal

In some Native American traditions, the mourning dove is a messenger of the spirit world. It is believed that when a mourning dove calls out, it carries a message from the spirit world.

Sandhill cranes and mourning doves occasionally interact with each other in the wild. In many Native American cultures, sandhill cranes are a symbol of longevity, and their dance is considered a prayer for peace. When sandhill cranes and mourning doves interact, it is believed to be a sign of unity and hope for the future.

“Like a white dove in a golden cage, your love lifts me to paradise.”

Conserving Michigan’s Mourning Doves

If you are a Michigan voter concerned about the well-being of mourning doves, you can rest assured that these beloved birds are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources actively monitors and manages the state’s dove population, to ensure sustainable hunting practices and protect these birds for future generations.

In recent years, debate has arisen regarding the dove hunting season in Michigan. While some argue that hunting helps to control the dove population and provides a recreational activity for hunters, others are concerned about the potential impact on dove populations and call for increased conservation efforts.

The Natural Resources Commission plays a crucial role in determining the dove hunting season in Michigan, taking into account scientific data and public input. Through open meetings and discussions, Michigan residents can voice their opinions and advocate for the conservation of mourning doves.

If you want to support Michigan’s mourning dove population, there are ways to get involved. You can participate in public hearings and provide feedback to the Natural Resources Commission, support local conservation organizations, and promote responsible hunting practices among fellow hunters.

With the dedication and efforts of Michigan’s wildlife professionals and concerned citizens, we can ensure the conservation and protection of these elegant birds for years to come.

Q1: What kind of doves are in Michigan?

The most common dove species in Michigan is the mourning dove.

Q2: Are Pigeons common in Michigan?

Yes, pigeons are common in Michigan, particularly in urban areas.

Q3: Are doves protected in the USA?

Yes, mourning doves are protected by federal and state laws in the USA, and there are regulations regarding their hunting.

Q4: Why is it called mourning dove?

The mourning dove gets its name from its mournful cooing sound, and it is associated with a melancholic or mournful atmosphere.

Q5: Do doves live in Michigan?

Yes, mourning doves are found in Michigan and are one of the common dove species in the state.

John William

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