doves in georgia

5 amazing beautiful doves in alabama 

Alabama, the picturesque state nestled in the heart of the American South, is not only known for its rolling hills, charming towns, and vibrant culture but also for its remarkable avian inhabitants. Among these enchanting creatures, these 5 amazing beautiful doves in alabama take center stage, gracing the skies with their elegant flight and filling the air with their soothing coos. In this magnificent corner of the United States, a diverse array of doves can be found, each possessing its own unique beauty and captivating charm. 

From the soft coos of the Mourning Dove to the vibrant plumage of the White-winged Dove, let us embark on a journey to discover five amazing and beautiful doves that call Alabama home. Prepare to be captivated by their grace, mesmerized by their colors, and inspired by their presence as we unveil the secret wonders of 5 amazing beautiful doves in alabama.  Join us as we delve into a world where nature’s beauty and avian elegance intertwine to create a symphony for the senses.

Observing the five amazing and beautiful doves that inhabit Alabama’s landscapes can be a delightful and rewarding experience for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. To make the most of your encounters with these graceful creatures, here are some best practices and helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Research and Identify: Before setting out on your dove-watching adventure, take the time to familiarize yourself with the five species of doves found in Alabama: the Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Rock Pigeon, and Common Ground-Dove. Study their distinctive features, behaviors, and preferred habitats to improve your chances of spotting them.
  2. Timing is Key: Doves are most active during the early morning and late afternoon when they forage for food and engage in courtship displays. Plan your observations during these times to maximize your opportunities for sightings. Additionally, be aware of the migratory patterns of certain species, as their presence may vary depending on the season.
  3. Choose the Right Locations: Alabama offers a diverse range of habitats that attract different dove species. Explore areas such as open fields, forest edges, agricultural lands, and urban environments. State and national parks, wildlife refuges, and nature reserves are excellent choices for dove watching, as they provide protected habitats for these birds.
  4. Be Patient and Quiet: Doves can be skittish creatures, easily spooked by sudden movements or loud noises. To increase your chances of observing them up close, practice patience and move slowly and quietly. Find a comfortable spot, preferably concealed or with suitable cover, and give the doves time to become accustomed to your presence.
  5. Use Binoculars and Field Guides: Binoculars are invaluable tools for birdwatching, enabling you to observe doves from a distance without disturbing them. Carry a reliable field guide or utilize bird identification apps to help you quickly identify the doves you encounter based on their distinct markings, flight patterns, and calls.
  6. Respect Their Space: While observing doves, it is essential to maintain a respectful distance and avoid disturbing their natural behavior. Do not attempt to approach nests or interfere with their feeding or mating rituals. Remember, observing from a distance ensures the well-being and preservation of these beautiful birds.
  7. Take Notes and Photographs: Keep a journal or digital record of your observations, noting the date, time, location, and specific behaviors witnessed. Taking photographs can also be a fantastic way to document your encounters and share the beauty of Alabama’s doves with others. However, prioritize the welfare of the birds and avoid any actions that may disrupt or harm them.

By following these best practices and tips, you can immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring world of Alabama’s doves and gain a deeper appreciation for their exquisite beauty and unique behaviors. So grab your binoculars, venture into the wilderness, and embark on an unforgettable journey of avian discovery in the heartland of Alabama.

List of 5 amazing beautiful doves in alabama: 

  1. White-winged Dove
  2. Mourning Dove
  3. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  4. Common Ground-Dove
  5. Rock Pigeon

1. White-winged Dove

white winged dove
white winged dove

Scientific name: Zenaida asiatica. 

Size: The White-winged Dove found in Alabama typically has a length of about 28 to 30 centimeters (11 to 12 inches) 

How to identify: 

  • Size and Shape: The White-winged Dove is a medium-sized dove with a plump body and a long, square-tipped tail.
  • Plumage: The adult White-winged Dove has a gray-brown overall coloration on its body. It has a distinctive white patch on the upper side of each wing, which is visible when it takes flight. The tail feathers have white tips. The face and underparts of the bird are pale gray, and the eyes are surrounded by a distinctive blue ring. Juvenile birds have a duller appearance with less contrast.
  • Bill and Legs: The White-winged Dove has a short, dark bill and reddish-pink legs.

Habitat: The White-winged Dove in Alabama can be found in a variety of habitats, including both rural and urban areas. They are commonly found in open areas such as woodlands, parks, gardens, agricultural fields, and suburban neighborhoods. These doves prefer habitats with a mix of trees, shrubs, and open spaces. They are often seen near a reliable water source, as they require water for drinking and bathing. In urban areas, they can be found nesting and roosting in trees, as well as utilizing backyard feeders for food. Overall, the White-winged Dove is adaptable and can thrive in a range of habitats as long as there is access to suitable food, water, and shelter.

Diet: The diet of the White-winged Dove in Alabama primarily consists of seeds and grains. They are known to feed on a variety of plant materials, including seeds from grasses, weeds, and cultivated crops such as corn, sunflowers, and millet. They also consume fruits, berries, and small insects when available. In urban areas, they may visit backyard bird feeders to feed on seeds and grains provided by humans. Overall, the White-winged Dove has an omnivorous diet with a focus on plant matter, particularly seeds and grains.

Lifespan:  The lifespan of a White-winged Dove in Alabama can vary, but on average, they tend to live for about 5 to 10 years in the wild. 

Wingspan:  The wingspan of a White-winged Dove in Alabama is typically around 38 to 42 centimeters (15 to 17 inches). 

Calls: The White-winged Dove in Alabama produces a distinctive cooing call that can be described as a soft and mournful “who-cooks-for-you” or “hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo.” The call is often repeated several times in a rhythmic pattern. This vocalization is commonly heard during the breeding season and is used by the birds for territorial defense and attracting mates. The call of the White-winged Dove is a recognizable sound in the habitats where they reside.

Seasons:  The White-winged Dove in Alabama can be observed throughout the year, but its presence may vary during different seasons.

  1. Breeding Season: The breeding season for White-winged Doves in Alabama typically occurs from April to August. During this time, they engage in courtship displays, nest-building, and mating activities.
  2. Spring Migration: Some White-winged Doves in Alabama may undertake a spring migration, usually occurring from late February to early April. During this time, they may move northward to breed in more northern regions.
  3. Summer: During the summer months, White-winged Doves can be commonly found in Alabama. They establish territories, build nests, and raise their young.
  4. Fall Migration: In the fall, some White-winged Doves may undertake a migration back south, typically occurring from September to November. They may move to warmer regions for the winter.
  5. Winter: While some White-winged Doves may migrate south for the winter, others may remain in Alabama year-round, especially in more southern parts of the state. They can be seen in various habitats, including urban areas and agricultural fields, during the winter months.

2. Mourning Dove

mourning dove
mourning dove

Scientific name:  Zenaida macroura.

Size: The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) in Alabama typically measures around 9-13 inches (22-33 cm) in length.

How to identify: Size and Shape: Mourning Doves are medium-sized birds with a plump body and a long, slender tail. They have a total length of about 9-13 inches (22-33 cm).

  • Coloration: The plumage of adult Mourning Doves is primarily gray-brown with a slightly pinkish hue on the chest. They have a small, black spot on their cheeks, giving the appearance of “teardrops” under their eyes. The wings display black spots and white edges, which are most noticeable during flight.
  • Tail Feathers: The long, pointed tail feathers are an important feature for identification. They are slightly rounded at the tips and have white edges, which become more visible when the bird is in flight.

Habitat: Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) in Alabama can be found in a variety of habitats, including both rural and urban areas. They are adaptable birds and can be seen in various environments such as open woodlands, fields, grasslands, farmlands, and suburban gardens.

  • In rural areas, Mourning Doves are commonly found in agricultural fields, pastures, and areas with scattered trees. They are often seen perched on power lines or fence wires, from where they can easily take flight.
  • In urban and suburban areas, Mourning Doves can be found in parks, gardens, and residential neighborhoods. They are known to frequent bird feeders, especially those offering seeds like millet or sunflower seeds.

Overall, Mourning Doves are versatile and can thrive in a range of habitats, as long as there is access to open areas for foraging and perching sites for resting and nesting.

Diet: The diet of Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) in Alabama primarily consists of seeds, although they also consume a small portion of insects. Seeds make up the majority of their diet and include various types such as grass seeds, weed seeds, and agricultural crop seeds like corn, wheat, and sunflower seeds.

Mourning Doves often forage on the ground, searching for seeds in open areas such as fields, lawns, and agricultural lands. They have a preference for feeding in areas with scattered vegetation or bare ground, where they can easily spot and access seeds.

While seeds form the mainstay of their diet, Mourning Doves occasionally consume small insects, especially during the breeding season when protein-rich food is required for nesting and rearing their young. Insects like beetles, grasshoppers, and ants may be included in their diet during this time.

Lifespan: The average lifespan of Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) in Alabama is typically around 1.5 to 5 years in the wild. 

Wingspan: The wingspan of a Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) in Alabama typically ranges between 17 to 18.5 inches (43 to 47 cm). 

Calls: The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) in Alabama is known for its distinctive calls. Here are a few of the common vocalizations you may hear:

  • Cooing: The most recognizable sound of the Mourning Dove is a mournful and soft cooing call. It is often described as a gentle “cooo-OO-oo-oo” or “coo-ah-oo.”
  • Wing Whistle: When the Mourning Dove takes flight, it produces a distinct whistling sound made by the movement of its wings. The wing whistle is a high-pitched, rapid “whooshing” or “whirring” sound that is characteristic of their flight.
  • Perch Coos: Mourning Doves also emit soft, rhythmic coos while perched, especially during courtship displays. These coos are often repetitive and can be heard as a series of gentle “coo-COO-coo.”
  • Alarm Calls: When alarmed or startled, Mourning Doves may emit a short, sharp alarm call, which sounds like a rapid “kee-kee-kee” or “keer-keer.”

Seasons:  In Alabama, Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) can be observed throughout the year. However, their abundance and behavior may vary across different seasons. Here’s a breakdown of the seasons and their influence on Mourning Doves:

  • Spring: During the spring season, which typically spans from March to May, Mourning Doves engage in courtship and breeding activities. Males perform courtship flights, accompanied by their distinctive cooing calls, to attract mates. They build nests, usually in trees or shrubs, and lay eggs. Spring is an active and important time for Mourning Doves as they establish territories and raise their young.
  • Summer: In the summer months of June to August, Mourning Doves are focused on rearing their young. They feed their nestlings with a diet consisting mainly of regurgitated seeds. Mourning Doves are often seen foraging on the ground for food during this period, taking advantage of available seeds and grains.
  • Fall: As the summer transitions into fall (September to November), Mourning Doves can be found in Alabama as they prepare for migration. While some individuals may stay in the region year-round, many Mourning Doves in Alabama are migratory and begin their southward journey to warmer climates. They may join flocks and feed heavily on available seeds and grains to build up energy reserves for their migration.
  • Winter: In the winter months of December to February, some Mourning Doves that migrate from northern regions can be found in Alabama, seeking milder winter conditions. They may gather in large flocks and feed on open ground or visit backyard feeders that provide seeds and grains. Winter is a time of survival for these doves, and they rely on available food sources to sustain themselves during the colder months.

3. Eurasian Collared-Dove

Eurasian Collared-Dove
Eurasian Collared-Dove

scientific name: Streptopelia decaocto.

Size: The size of the Eurasian Collared-Dove in Alabama can vary, but on average, it measures about 12-14 inches (30-35 centimeters) in length.

How to identify: 

  • Size and Shape: The Eurasian Collared-Dove is a medium-sized dove with a plump body and a long, tapered tail.
  • Plumage: The plumage of the Eurasian Collared-Dove is predominantly grayish-brown, with a lighter gray color on the head, neck, and underparts. It has a distinctive black “collar” or crescent-shaped patch on the back of its neck.
  • White Wing Patch: In flight, the Eurasian Collared-Dove displays a prominent white wing patch, which contrasts with the grayish-brown plumage.
  • Reddish Eyes: The Eurasian Collared-Dove has reddish eyes, which are quite noticeable and can help in identification.

Habitat: The Eurasian Collared-Dove in Alabama can be found in a variety of habitats. They are commonly seen in both urban and suburban areas, as well as in open habitats such as farmlands, gardens, parks, and wood edges. They have adapted well to human-altered landscapes and are often found near human settlements, including residential areas and agricultural fields. These doves are not typically found in dense forests or heavily wooded areas, but they may visit wooded edges and nearby trees for roosting or nesting. Overall, their habitat preference in Alabama reflects their ability to thrive in diverse environments, as long as there are suitable food sources and nesting opportunities available.

Diet: The diet of the Eurasian Collared-Dove in Alabama consists primarily of seeds and grains. They are known to feed on a variety of plant materials, including seeds from grasses, grains, crops, and weeds. In urban areas, they often visit bird feeders to consume seeds such as sunflower seeds and millet. Additionally, they may feed on berries, fruits, and insects when available. These doves are opportunistic feeders and can adapt to different food sources depending on their availability in their habitat.

Lifespan: The average lifespan of the Eurasian Collared-Dove in Alabama is around 4 to 5 years. 

Wingspan: The wingspan of the Eurasian Collared-Dove in Alabama typically ranges between 17 to 20 inches (43 to 51 centimeters). 

Calls: The Eurasian Collared-Dove in Alabama produces a distinct and repetitive call. The vocalization is often described as a soft, deep “coo-coo-coo” sound. The call consists of three distinct notes, with each note slightly lower in pitch than the previous one. This call is commonly heard during the breeding season and is used for communication between individuals. The Eurasian Collared-Dove’s call can often be heard in urban and suburban areas where they are commonly found.

Seasons: The Eurasian Collared-Dove in Alabama can be observed throughout the year as a resident species. They do not migrate long distances like some other bird species. Instead, they tend to remain in their preferred habitats year-round. However, their breeding activity is most prominent during the spring and summer months. During this time, they engage in courtship displays and nest-building. The nesting season typically begins in late spring and continues through summer. Outside of the breeding season, Eurasian Collared-Doves can still be observed foraging and roosting in their habitat, making them a common sight throughout the year in Alabama.

4. Common Ground-Dove

common ground dove
common ground dove

scientific name:  Columbina passerina.

Size: The Common Ground-Dove in Alabama has an average size of about 6-7 inches in length.

How to identify: It has a plump body with a short tail.

  • Coloration: The upperparts of the Common Ground-Dove are brownish-gray, while the underparts are pale gray. The wings have black spots and a bold white stripe across them when in flight. The tail is square and lacks any distinctive patterns.
  • Head and face: The head of the Common Ground-Dove is scaled with a combination of brown, gray, and white feathers. It has a pale blue-gray face with a pinkish-brown beak. 

Habitat: The Common Ground-Dove in Alabama inhabits a variety of open habitats, including grasslands, agricultural fields, savannas, scrublands, and disturbed areas. It is commonly found in areas with sparse vegetation, sandy or gravelly soils, and scattered shrubs or low trees. This species is particularly adapted to drier habitats and can tolerate arid conditions. In urban areas, Common Ground-Doves can be found in parks, gardens, and open spaces. They are primarily ground-dwelling birds but can also perch on low branches or wires.

Diet: The diet of the Common Ground-Dove in Alabama primarily consists of seeds and grains. They feed on a variety of grass and weed seeds, as well as cultivated grains such as millet and corn. Additionally, they may consume small insects and occasionally feed on fruits or berries when available. This species forages on the ground, using its beak to pick up seeds and grains from the soil or vegetation. They are adept at finding food in open areas, including agricultural fields, grasslands, and disturbed habitats.

Lifespan: The lifespan of the Common Ground-Dove in Alabama is typically around 3 to 5 years. 

Wingspan: The wingspan of the Common Ground-Dove in Alabama is approximately 10-12 inches.

Calls:  The Common Ground-Dove in Alabama produces a variety of vocalizations. The primary call is a soft, rhythmic cooing sound, often described as “coo-COO-coo.” This call is repeated several times in a series, with each note slightly rising and falling in pitch. The call is melodic and can be heard throughout the day, particularly during the breeding season when males use it to attract females and establish territories. Other vocalizations of the Common Ground-Dove include soft chattering or purring sounds, often emitted during courtship or interactions between individuals.

Seasons: The Common Ground-Dove in Alabama is a year-round resident, meaning it can be found in the state throughout all seasons of the year. It does not migrate long distances like some other bird species. However, there may be some minor movements within its range in response to food availability and weather conditions. During the breeding season, which typically occurs from spring to summer, the Common Ground-Dove engages in courtship displays and nest building. Outside of the breeding season, their behavior and distribution remain relatively consistent.

5. Rock Pigeon

rock pigeon
rock pigeon

scientific name: Columba livia

Size: The size of the Rock Pigeon in Alabama is approximately 29 to 37 centimeters (11 to 15 inches) in length. 

How to identify: 

  • Shape: Rock Pigeons are medium-sized birds with a plump body, short neck, and small head. They have a relatively long, broad wingspan and a rounded tail.
  • Coloration: Rock Pigeons in Alabama typically have a bluish-gray body with darker gray wings and back. They often have iridescent feathers on the neck and a white patch on the neck and wings.
  • Head and Face: Look for a small, round head with a light grayish color. Rock Pigeons have a distinctive dark band that runs across their eyes, known as an “eye stripe.” The eye itself is usually a reddish or orange color.

Habitat: Rock Pigeons in Alabama are highly adaptable birds and can be found in various habitats, including urban, suburban, and rural areas. They are particularly well adapted to urban environments, such as cities and towns, where they can be commonly seen nesting on buildings, ledges, and bridges.

In addition to urban areas, Rock Pigeons may also inhabit agricultural fields, open grasslands, coastal areas, and cliffs. They are known to roost in trees or on rocky cliffs and can be found near bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, and coastlines.

Overall, Rock Pigeons have a wide range of habitats in Alabama and can thrive in diverse environments, as long as they have access to food sources and suitable roosting locations.

Diet: The diet of Rock Pigeons in Alabama primarily consists of seeds and grains. They are considered granivorous birds, meaning they mainly feed on various types of seeds. This can include seeds from grasses, weeds, cultivated crops, and even bird feeders.

Rock Pigeons are opportunistic feeders and are known to adapt their diet to the available food sources in their environment. In urban areas, they often scavenge for food scraps, such as bread crumbs or discarded human food. They may also consume fruits and berries if available.

Additionally, Rock Pigeons may occasionally consume small insects and invertebrates, particularly during the breeding season when they require additional protein for egg production and rearing their young.

Overall, the primary diet of Rock Pigeons in Alabama consists of seeds and grains, supplemented by other food sources depending on their habitat and availability.

Lifespan: The lifespan of Rock Pigeons in Alabama can vary, but on average, they have a lifespan of around 3 to 5 years in the wild. 

Wingspan: The wingspan of a Rock Pigeon in Alabama typically ranges from approximately 62 to 72 centimeters (24 to 28 inches). 

Calls: The Rock Pigeon in Alabama produces several vocalizations, including various calls and cooing sounds. Here are a few common vocalizations you may hear:

  • Cooing: The most well-known vocalization of Rock Pigeons is their gentle cooing sound. It is a repetitive, soft, and rhythmic coo-coo-coo that is often used during courtship displays or to communicate with nearby pigeons.
  • Wing Whistle: When in flight, Rock Pigeons produce a distinct whistling or clapping sound caused by the movement of their wings. It is a rapid flapping sound followed by a brief pause as they glide.
  • Alarm Call: When Rock Pigeons sense danger or are startled, they emit a loud and rapid series of cooing sounds in a more urgent tone. This alarm call is meant to alert nearby pigeons of potential threats.
  • Bill Clapping: Another sound you may hear from Rock Pigeons is a rapid clapping or clicking noise produced by the rapid opening and closing of their beaks. It is often associated with courtship displays or territorial interactions.

Seasons: Rock Pigeons in Alabama do not have distinct seasonal migrations like some bird species. They are considered resident birds, meaning they typically stay in the same general area year-round. However, their breeding behavior may show some seasonal variations.

In Alabama, Rock Pigeons can breed throughout the year, although their breeding activity may be more pronounced during the spring and summer months. During this time, you may observe increased courtship displays, nest-building, and raising of young.

Outside of the breeding season, Rock Pigeons maintain their presence in Alabama and continue to utilize their preferred habitats, such as urban areas, agricultural fields, and coastal regions. They are adaptable and can withstand different weather conditions, allowing them to survive and thrive throughout the year.

It’s important to note that individual pigeons may exhibit some movements or changes in behavior based on factors like food availability, weather conditions, and nesting opportunities. However, as a whole, Rock Pigeons in Alabama are considered year-round residents with breeding activity that may peak during the spring and summer seasons.

Frequently asked question: doves in alabama 

Q: What are the five amazing and beautiful doves found in Alabama?

A: The five doves commonly found in Alabama are the Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Rock Pigeon, and Common Ground-Dove.

Q: How can I identify the Mourning Dove?

A: The Mourning Dove is a slender bird with a light gray-brown body, a pointed tail, and a distinctive teardrop-shaped mark on its face. It is known for its soft cooing sound.

Q: What distinguishes the White-winged Dove?

A: The White-winged Dove has a plump body, light grayish-brown plumage, and distinct white patches on its wings. It also produces a unique, mournful-sounding coo.

Q: What makes the Eurasian Collared-Dove stand out?

A: The Eurasian Collared-Dove is slightly larger than the Mourning Dove, with a pale gray body, a long, squared-off tail, and a distinctive black collar around its neck. Its call is a soft, melodic cooing sound.

Q: How can I differentiate the Rock Pigeon from other doves?

A: The Rock Pigeon, also known as the common city pigeon, has a stout body, gray feathers, and iridescent neck feathers that change color in the light. They are often seen in urban areas.

Q: What are the notable characteristics of the Common Ground-Dove?

A: The Common Ground-Dove is a small dove with a tan or brown body, a scaly pattern on its wings, and a short, squared-off tail. Its call is a distinctive coo-coooo-coo.

Q: Are these doves migratory or year-round residents in Alabama?

A: While some doves, such as the Mourning Dove and White-winged Dove, are year-round residents in Alabama, others, like the Eurasian Collared-Dove, are non-native species that have established permanent populations in the state. The presence of migratory doves may vary depending on the season.

Q: Where can I find these doves in Alabama?

A: These doves can be found in a variety of habitats throughout Alabama, including open fields, forest edges, agricultural lands, and urban environments. State and national parks, wildlife refuges, and nature reserves are excellent places to spot them.

Q: How can I attract these doves to my backyard?

A: Providing food sources like seed feeders with millet, cracked corn, or sunflower seeds can attract doves to your backyard. Additionally, offering a water source like a birdbath or a shallow dish can be enticing to these birds.

Q: Are there any conservation concerns regarding these doves in Alabama?

A: While the doves in Alabama are not currently considered endangered, it is important to support conservation efforts and protect their habitats. Avoid disturbing nesting areas and contribute to initiatives that preserve natural environments for these beautiful birds to thrive.

Q: Can I keep these doves as pets?

A: Some species, like the Rock Pigeon, can be kept as pets. However, it is essential to research local regulations and ensure proper care and welfare for any pet doves. Native species, such as the Mourning Dove, are protected and should not be taken from the wild.

conclusion: 

In conclusion, the five amazing and beautiful doves that grace the landscapes of Alabama—Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Rock Pigeon, and Common Ground-Dove—offer a captivating glimpse into the avian wonders of the state. Their elegant flight, distinctive calls, and stunning plumage make them a joy to observe and appreciate.

As we explored the best practices and tips for observing these doves, we learned the importance of patience, research, and respect for their natural habitats. By immersing ourselves in their world and taking the time to understand their behaviors, we can forge a deeper connection with these magnificent creatures.

So, grab your binoculars, embrace the peacefulness of the early morning or late afternoon, and venture out into the enchanting landscapes of Alabama. Allow yourself to be captivated by the mesmerizing flight, the gentle coos, and the vibrant colors of these five amazing and beautiful doves. Immerse yourself in their world, and let their presence inspire a deeper appreciation for the boundless beauty of nature.

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