“The Joy of Attracting Mourning Doves to Your Feeder” is a delightful article that offers insights on attracting these beautiful and peaceful birds to your backyard. From their soothing calls to their ability to peacefully coexist with other birds, Mourning Doves are a bird lover’s favorite. The article shares tips on the best foods to attract them, the ideal feeders to use, and even how to create a suitable nesting environment. It also highlights the benefits of having Mourning Doves in your yard, such as their knack for eating weed seeds and keeping rodents away. Whether you’re a seasoned bird enthusiast or just starting out, this article is a must-read for anyone looking to create a bird-friendly oasis.
The Joy of Attracting Mourning Doves to Your Feeder
Mourning Doves are beautiful and common birds coast-to-coast across the United States. Named for their mournful but soothing calls, they are a favorite feeder bird for many bird enthusiasts. But why should you attract Mourning Doves to your bird feeder? Let’s explore the reasons:
Mourning Doves get along well with other birds at the feeder
One of the joys of attracting Mourning Doves to your feeder is that they easily get along with other birds. Despite their larger size, they are not aggressive and feed peaceably with smaller birds. This makes them a delightful addition to any backyard bird feeder.
Mourning Doves are easy to attract
Mourning Doves are not picky eaters and will readily visit your feeder. They eat a wide variety of seeds and grains, making it easy to provide them with a suitable food source. In fact, they may be among the first birds to discover and visit your feeder.
They eat weed seeds, so can benefit your yard and garden
Not only are Mourning Doves a pleasure to watch at your feeder, but they also provide a practical benefit to your yard and garden. These birds eat weed seeds, which can help control the weed population in your outdoor spaces. By attracting Mourning Doves to your feeder, you’re creating a win-win situation for both you and the birds.
They often eat on the ground, cleaning up under the feeder
Mourning Doves have a unique feeding habit of often eating on the ground, cleaning up fallen seeds under the feeder. This helps keep the area around your feeder clean and free from spilled bird seed, reducing the risk of attracting rodents. By attracting Mourning Doves, you’re fostering a cleaner and more organized feeding environment.
Now that we’ve discussed why you should attract Mourning Doves to your bird feeder, let’s explore the different foods that will attract these lovely birds:
What foods will attract Mourning Doves to your feeder?
If you want to attract Mourning Doves to your feeder, you’ll need to provide them with the right foods. Luckily, Mourning Doves are not picky eaters and will happily consume a variety of grains and seeds. Here are some food options that are known to attract Mourning Doves:
Black oil sunflower seeds, millet, cracked corn are ideal for attracting Mourning Doves
Mourning Doves are particularly fond of black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and cracked corn. These seeds are readily available and can be easily found in most generic mixed bird seed mixes. If you’re looking for a suitable bird seed mix, Wagner’s Songbird Supreme is a recommended option that Mourning Doves will enjoy.
Consider using a seed block to attract Mourning Doves
Another option to attract Mourning Doves is to use a seed block. Seed blocks are blocks of bird seed held together by gelatin or molasses. They provide a more long-lasting food source compared to loose seed. Look for seed blocks with seeds that are attractive to doves, quail, and house sparrows. By using seed blocks, you can help keep larger or more numerous birds away from your other feeders filled with specialty or gourmet bird foods.
Now that you know what foods to offer, let’s discuss the types of feeders that Mourning Doves prefer:
What kind of feeders do Mourning Doves like?
Mourning Doves have a preference for eating on the ground, so a large platform feeder is an excellent choice for attracting them. These feeders provide a spacious area for the doves to perch and eat comfortably.
In addition to platform feeders, Mourning Doves can also use small hopper bird feeders. Despite their larger size, Mourning Doves sometimes manage to squeeze onto the trays of these feeders. However, it’s important to consider the stability and placement of the feeders to ensure the doves can access the food easily without causing any disruptions.
Now that we’ve covered the types of feeders, let’s discuss where to place your bird feeder for Mourning Doves:
Where to place your bird feeder for Mourning Doves
When it comes to placing your bird feeder for Mourning Doves, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Mourning Doves prefer to eat on the ground, so scattering bird seed on the bare ground, gravel, or a cement patio can attract them. If you prefer to use a feeder, a raised platform or ground platform feeder is ideal for Mourning Doves.
It’s also essential to consider the proximity of your feeder to windows to minimize the risk of bird window strikes. The general rule of thumb is to place feeders within 8 feet of windows or over 30 feet away to provide birds with enough time to veer off if they see their reflection.
Now that you’re familiar with attracting Mourning Doves to your feeder, let’s explore some additional ways to attract them to your yard:
How else can you attract Mourning Doves to your yard?
In addition to providing food, there are other strategies you can implement to attract Mourning Doves to your yard:
Provide water sources for Mourning Doves
Mourning Doves require water for drinking and bathing. Consider adding a decorative bird bath or using a flowerpot saucer on the ground to provide these birds with a water source. By offering water, you’ll create an inviting environment that will attract Mourning Doves and provide them with everything they need to thrive.
Include grit for digestion in a Mourning Dove-friendly yard
Mourning Doves also require grit for digestion. Grit helps them break down food in their digestive system. You may notice Mourning Doves eating small bits of stone on road edges or gravel driveways. Including a designated area with gravel or small stones in your yard can provide Mourning Doves with the necessary grit for proper digestion.
Create nesting areas for Mourning Doves
If you want to attract Mourning Doves to nest in your yard, consider providing suitable nesting areas. Mourning Doves prefer nesting on shelves or in nesting cones. By installing these structures under eaves or in carports, you can create inviting nesting spaces for Mourning Doves.
Now, let’s address some potential problems you may encounter when feeding Mourning Doves:
Problems with feeding Mourning Doves: If you have attracted too many to your feeder
While attracting Mourning Doves can be a delightful experience, there are some potential downsides to consider if you attract too many of them to your feeder:
Consider the potential downsides of attracting too many Mourning Doves
Some people may not enjoy having too many Mourning Doves in their yard, as they can be perceived as pests or nuisances. It’s important to assess your personal preferences and tolerance for a high Mourning Dove population before actively attracting them to your feeder.
Mourning Doves can empty feeders quickly and keep smaller birds away
Due to their feeding habits, Mourning Doves can quickly empty your bird feeders. They swallow the seeds whole and store them in a crop for later digestion. If you have a large population of Mourning Doves, they may dominate the feeder and keep smaller birds from accessing the food. It’s important to weigh the need to attract Mourning Doves against your desire to support a diverse range of bird species.
Excrement mess and potential damage from Mourning Doves
Mourning Doves can create quite a mess with their excrement. Their droppings may splatter yard furniture and cars, requiring more frequent clean-ups. Additionally, if Mourning Doves habitually visit your feeder, their presence may cause damage to the feeder itself. It’s essential to consider these potential issues and adapt your feeding approach accordingly.
To address any final questions you may have, let’s dive into a Mourning Dove FAQ:
Mourning Dove FAQ
Here are answers to common questions about attracting and feeding Mourning Doves:
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Now that you know the ins and outs of attracting Mourning Doves, you may be interested in related articles on bird feeding. Here’s a suggested article to explore:
Related articles: Why aren’t birds coming to your feeder?
If you’re curious about common reasons why birds may not be coming to your feeder, this article will provide valuable insights. It’s essential to understand bird behavior and environmental factors that may impact bird activity at your feeder.
Finally, stay tuned for the next article in this series, which will focus on attracting Black-capped Chickadees to your feeder. These charming birds are a delight to observe and will surely bring joy to your yard.
In summary, attracting Mourning Doves to your feeder can be a rewarding experience. They get along well with other birds, are easy to attract, offer benefits to your yard and garden, and have unique feeding habits. By providing the right foods, using suitable feeders, placing your feeder strategically, and considering additional ways to attract them, you can create an inviting environment for these beautiful birds.