Amazing 4 doves in Michigan – (Photos, Identifying Guide)

Welcome to the breathtaking world of Michigan’s avian wonders! Nestled within the diverse landscapes of the Great Lakes State, you’ll discover a mesmerizing 4 doves in Michigan, each boasting unique qualities that are bound to captivate your imagination. From the soothing coos that grace the air to the graceful flights across Michigan’s picturesque landscapes, these four amazing doves in Michigan are sure to leave you spellbound. 

So, let us embark on a journey that takes us deep into the heart of Michigan’s wilderness, where these feathered beauties await our admiration and wonder. Get ready to be enchanted by their elegance, serenity, and the stories they carry on their wings. Join us as we unravel the mysteries of the Mourning Dove, the vibrant Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the majestic White-winged Dove, and the charismatic Eurasian Collared-Dove. Prepare to be amazed as we explore the remarkable world of these four magnificent doves, right here in Michigan.

Here are some best tips and practices to enhance your dove-watching adventures in Michigan: 

  • Research Their Habitats: Different dove species prefer specific habitats. Before setting out, familiarize yourself with the preferred environments of the Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, White-winged Dove, and Eurasian Collared-Dove. This knowledge will guide you to the right locations for optimal sightings.
  • Early Mornings and Late Afternoons: Doves are most active during the early morning and late afternoon hours. Plan your observations around these times to maximize your chances of spotting them in action. Remember to be patient and maintain a quiet demeanor, as sudden noises or movements can startle them away.
  • Locate Water Sources: Doves are attracted to areas near water, such as lakes, rivers, and ponds. These natural water sources provide them with hydration and bathing opportunities. Scout for such locations and position yourself nearby for a higher chance of encountering these graceful birds.
  • Use Binoculars or a Camera: Investing in a pair of binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens can greatly enhance your dove-watching experience. These tools allow you to observe the doves from a comfortable distance without disturbing their natural behaviour. You can capture stunning close-up shots or simply appreciate their intricate details through binoculars.
  • Dress in Earthy Tones: Doves have keen eyesight and can be easily startled by bright colours or sudden movements. Opt for clothing in earthy tones such as beige, khaki, or olive green. This helps you blend into the surroundings, making it easier to approach the doves unnoticed.
  • Practice Patience and Stillness: Observing doves requires patience and stillness. Find a comfortable spot, preferably concealed behind trees or bushes, and settle in quietly. Allow yourself to become one with the environment, immersing you in the sights and sounds of nature. The longer you stay undisturbed, the more likely the doves will resume their activities around you.
  • Learn Their Calls and Behaviours: Each dove species has distinct vocalizations and behaviours. Educate yourself about their calls and behaviours beforehand, so you can identify them accurately in the wild. This knowledge will deepen your understanding and appreciation of their unique characteristics.
  • Respect Their Space: It is essential to respect the doves’ natural habitat and maintain a safe distance. Do not disturb nests or attempt to handle the birds. Enjoy observing them from a respectful distance, allowing them to go about their daily routines undisturbed. 

List of 4 doves in Michigan: 

  1. Rock Dove
  2. Eurasian-Collared Dove
  3. Ring-necked Dove
  4. Mourning Dove

1. Rock Dove

doves in Michigan

Scientific name: Columba livia

Size: The size of a Rock Dove in Michigan is about 29 to 37 centimetres (11 to 15 inches) long. 

How to identify

  • Colour: Rock Doves have a greyish-blue body with two black wing bars. The head is paler than the body, and the neck and breast may have an iridescent sheen.
  • Bill: The bill is black.
  • Feet: The feet are purplish-red.

Habitat: 

Rock Doves are found in a variety of habitats in Michigan, including:

  • Urban areas: Rock Doves are very common in urban areas, where they can be found nesting on buildings, bridges, and other structures. They are attracted to urban areas because they provide a reliable source of food and water.
  • Rural areas: Rock Doves are also found in rural areas, where they may nest on cliffs, in trees, or in barns. They are less common in rural areas than in urban areas, but they can still be found in some areas.
  • Natural areas: Rock Doves can also be found in natural areas, such as forests and fields. However, they are less common in natural areas than in urban or rural areas.

Diet: Rock Doves are omnivorous birds, and they eat a variety of foods, including:

  • Seeds: Rock Doves are primarily granivores, and they eat a variety of seeds, including corn, wheat, oats, and barley. They also eat the seeds of fruits, vegetables, and weeds.
  • Grains: Rock Doves also eat grains, such as cornmeal, wheat flour, and rice. They may also eat bread crumbs, popcorn, and other junk food that is discarded by humans.
  • Fruits: Rock Doves eat a variety of fruits, including berries, apples, and pears. They may also eat the fruits of some vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers.
  • Insects: Rock Doves eat a variety of insects, including beetles, grasshoppers, and flies. They may also eat spiders and other small invertebrates.
  • Small animals: Rock Doves may also eat small animals, such as snails, slugs, and mice.

Lifespan: The lifespan of a Rock Dove in Michigan is typically 3-5 years in the wild, but they can live up to 15 years in captivity.

Wingspan: The wingspan of a Rock Dove in Michigan is typically 62 to 72 centimetres (24 to 28 inches).

Calls:
Rock Doves make a variety of calls, including:

  • Cooing: The most common call of the Rock Dove is a soft, cooing sound. This call is used for communication between mates, for greeting other Rock Doves, and for attracting mates.
  • Clapping: Rock Doves also make a clapping sound when they take off. This sound is thought to be a warning to other Rock Doves of danger.
  • Screaming: Rock Doves may also scream when they are alarmed or scared. This call is a high-pitched, piercing sound that can be heard from a long distance.

Seasons: 

Here are some of the things that Rock Doves do in different seasons in Michigan:

  • Spring: Rock Doves start to breed in the spring. They build their nests in a variety of places, including buildings, cliffs, trees, and barns. They often build their nests in cavities, but they can also build their nests on ledges or in other exposed areas.
  • Summer: Rock Doves raise their young in the summer. The young birds fledge after about 30 days.
  • Fall: Rock Doves may start to gather in flocks in the fall. These flocks may migrate to warmer areas, but many Rock Doves in Michigan stay in the state year-round.
  • Winter: Rock Doves may gather in larger flocks in the winter. These flocks may be seen feeding in parks, gardens, and other areas where there is food available.

2. Eurasian-Collared Dove

doves in Michigan

Scientific name: Streptopelia decaocto.

Size:
The Eurasian collared dove is a medium-sized dove, with an average length of 11.4-11.8 inches (29-30 cm) from tip of beak to tip of tail. 

How to identify: The Eurasian collared dove is gray with a white belly and a black collar on its neck. It has a slender black bill and red eyes.

Habitat: The Eurasian collared dove is an invasive species in Michigan, and it can be found in a variety of habitats, including:

  • Urban and suburban areas: The Eurasian collared dove is a common sight in urban and suburban areas. It is often seen perched on telephone wires or in trees. The doves are also known for their habit of bobbing their heads and flicking their tails.
  • Farmlands: The Eurasian collared dove can also be found in farmlands. They are attracted to areas where there is grain available, such as cornfields and soybean fields.
  • Wooded areas: The Eurasian collared dove can also be found in wooded areas. They are often seen in open areas within forests, such as meadows and clearings.
  • Open country: The Eurasian collared dove can also be found in open country. They are often seen in areas with scattered trees and shrubs, such as pastures and roadsides.

Diet: The Eurasian collared dove is an omnivorous bird, and its diet consists of a variety of foods, including:

  • Seeds: The Eurasian collared dove is a seedeater, and its diet consists mainly of seeds from grains, such as corn, wheat, and soybeans. They will also eat seeds from fruits, vegetables, and weeds.
  • Insects: The Eurasian collared dove will also eat insects, such as beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. They will also eat snails and spiders.
  • Berries: The Eurasian collared dove will also eat berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, and elderberries.
  • Greens: The Eurasian collared dove will also eat greens, such as clover, dandelions, and chickweed.

Lifespan: The lifespan of a Eurasian collared dove in Michigan is typically 3-5 years. 

Wingspan: The wingspan of a Eurasian collared dove in Michigan is typically 47-55 cm (19-22 in).

Calls: The Eurasian collared dove is a very vocal bird, and it has a variety of calls. The most common call is a three-part coo that is often described as sounding like “coo-COO-COO.” This call is used for a variety of purposes, including greeting other doves, defending territories, and attracting mates.

Other calls of the Eurasian collared dove include:

  • Contact call: This is a soft, high-pitched coo that is used to keep in touch with other doves.
  • Alarm call: This is a loud, harsh “kwaah” that is used to warn other doves of  danger.
  • Nesting call: This is a soft, warbling call that is used by females to attract mates and to communicate with their mates during the nesting season.

Seasons: 

Season Description 
  SpringEurasian collared doves arrive in Michigan and start to breed.
SummerEurasian collared doves are very active and their calls can be heard throughout the day.
FallEurasian collared doves begin to migrate south for the winter.
WinterSome Eurasian collared doves stay in Michigan year-round.

3. Ring-necked Dove

Scientific name: Streptopelia decaocto.

Size: The Ring-necked Dove in Michigan is a medium-sized dove, with an average length of 32 centimetres (13 inches) from tip of beak to tip of tail.

How to identify

  • Colour: The Ring-necked Dove is mostly gray with a white upper body. It has a black collar on the back of its neck, and a black spot on each wing. The underside of the wings is pinkish. The bill is black, and the eyes are a deep red.
  • Legs and feet: The legs and feet of the Ring-necked Dove are dark red.

Habitat: The Ring-necked Dove in Michigan is an adaptable bird that can be found in a variety of habitats, including:

  • Urban and suburban areas: Ring-necked Doves are often seen in parks, gardens, and backyards. They are attracted to areas where there is a reliable source of food, such as bird feeders.
  • Agricultural areas: Ring-necked Doves are also found in agricultural fields, where they feed on seeds and grain. They are sometimes considered a pest by farmers, as they can damage crops.
  • Wooded areas: Ring-necked Doves can also be found in wooded areas, but they are less common than in other habitats. They prefer areas with open spaces, such as clearings or edges of forests.

Diet: 

The Ring-necked Dove in Michigan is an omnivorous bird, meaning that it eats a variety of foods. Its diet consists of:

  • Seeds: Ring-necked Doves eat a variety of seeds, including millet, corn, and wheat. They are often seen feeding on bird feeders.
  • Grain: Ring-necked Doves also eat grain, such as barley and oats. They may damage crops, especially in agricultural areas.
  • Fruit: Ring-necked Doves will eat fruit, such as berries, grapes, and pomegranates. They are particularly fond of the separated pips of pomegranates and very small blueberries.
  • Insects: Ring-necked Doves will also eat insects, such as beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. They are an important part of the insect control in Michigan.
  • Invertebrates: Ring-necked Doves will also eat other invertebrates, such as snails and slugs.
  • Leaves: Ring-necked Doves will also eat leaves, especially in the spring and summer when there is more plant growth.

Lifespan: The lifespan of a Ring-necked Dove in Michigan is typically 3-5 years. 

Wingspan: The wingspan of a Ring-necked Dove in Michigan is typically 47-55 centimetres (18-21 inches).

Calls: The Ring-necked Dove in Michigan has a variety of calls, including:

  • Soft cooing: The most common call of the Ring-necked Dove is a soft cooing sound. It is often described as sounding like “who cooks for you?”
  • Purring: The Ring-necked Dove also makes a purring sound. This sound is often made by the male when he is courting the female.
  • Hissing: The Ring-necked Dove will also hiss if it feels threatened.
  • Wing-clapping: The Ring-necked Dove will also clap its wings together as a warning call.

Seasons: 

Here are some tips on how to find Ring-necked Doves in Michigan in different seasons:

  • Spring: Ring-necked Doves are most active in the spring when they are breeding. You can find them in areas with trees, shrubs, and open ground.
  • Summer: Ring-necked Doves are still active in the summer, but they are not as active as they are in the spring. You can still find them in the same areas, but they may be more difficult to see.
  • Fall: Ring-necked Doves may start to migrate in the fall. You can still find them in Michigan, but they may be less common.
  • Winter: Some Ring-necked Doves stay in Michigan in the winter. You can find them in the same areas as you would in the spring and summer, but they may be more difficult to see because of the snow.

4. Mourning Dove

Scientific name: Zenaida macroura

Size: The size of a mourning dove in Michigan is about 12 inches long. 

How to identify

  • Colour: Mourning doves are a light greyish-brown colour overall, with black spots on the wings and behind the eye. The underside is a paler buff colour.
  • Tail: The tail is long and pointed, with white tips on the outer feathers.
  • Bill: The bill is small and black.
  • Legs: The legs are short and pinkish.

Habitat: Mourning doves are found in a variety of habitats in Michigan, including:

  • Open fields: Mourning doves are often seen in open fields, such as cornfields, soybean fields, and hayfields. They feed on the seeds of these crops, as well as on insects.
  • Woodlands: Mourning doves can also be found in woodlands, such as forests, orchards, and parks. They feed on the seeds of trees and shrubs, as well as on insects.
  • Suburban areas: Mourning doves are increasingly common in suburban areas, where they find food and nesting sites in backyards, parks, and golf courses.

Diet: Mourning doves are herbivores and their diet consists almost exclusively of seeds, which make up more than 99% of their diet. They prefer the seeds of cultivated grains, such as corn, wheat, and soybeans, as well as the seeds of grasses, weeds, and wildflowers. They will also eat insects, such as snails, caterpillars, and beetles, but this is a much smaller part of their diet.

Lifespan: the average lifespan of a mourning dove in Michigan is 1 to 2 years.

Wingspan: The wingspan of a mourning dove in Michigan is typically 17 to 19 inches.

Calls: 

The mourning dove is known for its soft, mournful cooing sound. The call of a mourning dove is a series of 3-5 cooing notes, often described as “coo-ah, coo, coo, coo.” The calls are usually given in a slow, deliberate rhythm.

Mourning doves make a variety of other calls, including:

  • Nest call: This is a 3-part call that is given by the male mourning dove while he is building the nest. The call is a soft coo-oo followed by two or three louder coos.
  • Alarm call: This is a sharp, high-pitched call that is given by the mourning dove when it is alarmed. The call is often given when the dove is threatened by a predator.
  • Contact call: This is a soft, cooing call that is given by the mourning dove to keep in touch with its mate or other doves. The call is often given when the dove is flying or moving around.

Seasons: 

SeasonDescription
SpringMourning doves arrive in Michigan in the spring, typically in late March or early April. They start breeding soon after they arrive, and they typically lay two eggs per clutch. The eggs hatch after about 14 days, and the young fledge after about 16 days.
SummerMourning doves are most common in Michigan during the summer. They are active during the day and night, and they can be seen feeding in fields, gardens, and backyards.
FallMourning doves start to migrate south in the fall, typically in September or October. They typically travel in flocks, and they can be seen flying overhead.
WinterSome mourning doves stay in Michigan during the winter. However, most of them migrate to warmer climates, such as the Gulf Coast or the southern United States.

Frequently asked questions: Amazing 4 doves in Michigan 

Q: Are the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds native to Michigan?

A: The most common dove species in Michigan is the Mourning Dove. These elegant birds are known for their soft cooing sounds and can be found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, open fields, and urban areas.

Q: What is the most common dove species found in Michigan?

A: Yes, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is native to Michigan. These vibrant birds are famous for their iridescent green feathers and the males’ ruby-red throat patch. They are migratory birds, arriving in Michigan during the summer months to breed and raise their young.

Q: How can I attract doves to my backyard in Michigan?

A: To attract doves to your backyard in Michigan, you can provide them with a few key elements. Planting native flowering plants, shrubs, and trees that produce seeds and berries will attract doves as they are a source of food. Additionally, installing bird feeders with a variety of seeds, including millet and sunflower seeds, can also entice doves to visit your yard.

Q: What is unique about the White-winged Dove?

A: The White-winged Dove is a dove species that is expanding its range into Michigan. Native to the south western United States and Mexico, these doves are recognized by their greyish-brown feathers, distinctive white wing patches, and red eyes. Their presence in Michigan provides a unique opportunity for bird enthusiasts to observe a species that is not traditionally found in the region.

Q: Are Eurasian Collared-Doves considered invasive in Michigan?

A: Yes, Eurasian Collared-Doves are considered invasive in Michigan. Originally from Asia, these doves have rapidly expanded their range across North America in recent decades. They have adapted well to urban and suburban environments, often outcompeting native dove species for resources. Despite their invasive status, they have become a common sight in many parts of Michigan.

Q: How can I contribute to dove conservation efforts in Michigan?

A: You can contribute to dive conservation efforts in Michigan by creating dove-friendly habitats in your backyard or supporting local conservation organizations. Planting native vegetation, providing water sources, and minimizing the use of pesticides are simple ways to create an environment that benefits doves and other bird species. Additionally, participating in citizen science programs and reporting your dove sightings can help researchers better understand their populations and distribution patterns.

Conclusion:

Observing these four amazing doves in Michigan offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of avian life that thrives within the Great Lakes State. From the first light of dawn to the tranquil dusk, their flights, calls, and behaviours create a symphony of nature’s wonders. By following best practices for observation and respecting their habitats, we can establish a harmonious connection with these fascinating birds.

As we immerse ourselves in the art of dove-watching, we find solace and inspiration. The serenity of a quiet morning, the patience required to wait for the perfect sighting, and the awe-inspiring beauty of these doves remind us of the intricate and delicate balance of our natural world. They invite us to appreciate the subtle details, the diversity of species, and the interconnectedness of all living beings.

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