1. Bones found in cave-like rock shelters in the vicinity of Lake Amistad in Val Verde County indicate stone-age man used mourning doves for food nearly 9000 years ago.
2.The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 which, as amended, implements migratory bird treaties between the United States and other countries. Mourning doves are included in the treaties with Great Britain (for Canada) and Mexico (U.S. Department of the Interior 2013). These treaties recognize sport hunting as a legitimate use of a renewable migratory bird resource.
3 Since at least 1993, mourning doves have been ranked 11th in relative abundance among 251 species in the United States.
4.Mourning doves are abundant throughout NY State, except in the high peaks regions of the Adirondacks and Catskills.
5.In NY, there were 47 plane collision strikes with mourning doves between June 29, 2012 and January 16, 2015.
6.Mourning doves occur in NY both as year-round residents and migrators.
7. The average lifespan of mourning doves is less than one year. Only 40% of the population lives longer. However, mourning doves are capable of reproducing at 85 days of age, which compensates for this short life span. In addition, nationwide surveys have shown there is no significant difference in mourning dove breeding densities in hunted and non-hunted states.
8.Mourning doves eat many seeds and thereby facilitate the spread of plants, including undesirable species.
9.Three ounces of mourning doves contains 19.47 grams of protein, 1.56 grams of fat, 79.9 mg of cholesterol and 123 calories.
10. Among meats commonly cooked on a grill; per ounce, mourning dove meat is more nutritious than shrimp, chicken, hot dogs, sausage patties and bratwurst. As a matter of fact, mourning dove meat is more nutritious than most other meats, nuts, seeds, tofu, and eggs.
11. There are many ways to prepare doves and it only takes one or two mourning dove breasts to make a meal for one person.
12. When mourning doves leave the nest at 30 days of age, they weigh a little over 3 ounces. At 160 days of age, they weigh 4.23 ounces to 4.59 ounces. Adult mourning doves weigh up to 6 ounces.
13.Mourning dove populations are carefully monitored by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. During this monitoring, which has existed for many years alongside dove hunting, the mourning dove populations has remained abundant without dropping precipitously; which indicates the existing dove conservation strategy is sound. Nevertheless, the US Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Shore and Upland Bird Support Task Force and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies periodically review and update mourning dove conservation needs, seek new information, and add or adapt strategies as needed.
14. Hunters harvest more mourning doves annually in the U.S.A. than any other game bird. More mourning doves are shot than the combined sum of wild turkey and every species of duck and goose.
15. The annual harvest of mourning doves is a small percentage of the population.
16. White wedding doves are actually a breed of the common pigeon.
17. Most man-made changes to the landscape are favorable to mourning doves and actually increase their population size and distribution. Unlike the passenger pigeon and the heath hen, which has long since given way to the pressures of our expanding nation, the mourning dove has increased along with the progress of civilization and become one of the most sought after game birds in the country.
a.Human modification of the land is one factor in mourning doves expanding farther north. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of mourning doves inhabiting the Canadian prairies over the past several decades, due to an increase in their preferred habitat. This is attributed to the establishment of trees in windbreaks and shelterbelts, the advent of agriculture with plentiful grain seeds as a stable food supply, the creation of small water supplies for livestock, and the erection of telephone lines and power lines used for perching. Likewise, in the Great Plains, the conversion of large tracts of treeless prairie to domestic grains and farmsteads has created an excellent combination of food and nesting cover for mourning doves.
b.Dove habitat needs are compatible with human-modified landscapes, especially many types of agriculture and suburban development.
18. The wings of mourning doves make a distinct whistling sound when birds are in flight which cannot be mistaken for any other bird.
19. Male pigeons and female doves produce fertile eggs in about 50% of their matings; only about 3% of the offspring hatched are female. Fertility from the reciprocal cross is very low. All hybrids are apparently sterile, although the males have viable sperm (Cole and Hollander, 1950).
20. Mourning doves are migratory in the northern part of their distribution.
b. Each migratory location receives doves from divergent breeding locations.
c. Generally, mourning doves living in New England winter in the Carolinas. All southern states have dove hunting seasons.
d. Autumn migration begins at the end of August and ends in November.
21. Mourning doves are definitely NOT songbirds.
Assigning the term songbird to mourning doves is not scientifically correct. Nonscientific contexts of the word songbird are meaningless and do not substantiate any argument against hunting.
Taxonomic classification is not a casual process of assigning a nickname arbitrarily and capriciously.
Biological Systematicsis the study of the diversification of living forms. Taxonomyis the aspect of systematics that deals with the correct application of scientific names.
The taxonomic rank delineating “songbirds” is at the Order level. All songbirds are in the suborder Oscine. The word Oscine is from the Latin word Oscen, which is in fact translated as songbird. Mourning doves, however, are NOT one of the over 4,000 species included in the suborder Oscines, but are in fact in the Order Columbiformes.
The scientific criteria for classification as an Oscine; is a vocal apparatus which gives a species the ability to make complex songs. Mourning doves do not have such a vocal apparatus. To view comparative anatomy of vocal apparatus/syrinx ... click here.
Reiteration: Assigning the term songbird to mourning doves is not scientifically correct. Nonscientific contexts of the word songbird are meaningless and do not substantiate any argument against hunting.
Mourning doves are not songbirds!
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