An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide –

Mourning Doves Calling

3-19-15 -mourning dove IMG_2091The mournful lament of the male mourning dove is often one of the first songs heard in the early spring. The frequency of this call builds to a peak from mid-May to mid-June. As in many other pigeons and doves, the Mourning Dove’s main call, or “perch coo” (coo-oo, OO, OO, OO) is an advertising call, sung in order to attract a mate. Unmated males often establish perches within their territory from which they repeatedly sing.

A shorter nest call is used by a paired male to attract his mate to a potential nest site. The male then gathers nesting material and presents it to the female while standing on her back. While she constructs the nest, he continues to use the nest call to maintain a bond with his mate. Once the nest is built, this call diminishes. You can hear Mourning Dove calls at, although to my ear, it’s hard to distinguish the perch call from the nest call in these recordings.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

6 responses

  1. I recently witnessed a mourning dove attempting to land/perch on the head of another one (at our bird bath which they all enjoy) Wondering if that would signify those 2 as a mated pair? Looked quite silly and the one on the bottom immediately flew away!

    March 19, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    • Your guess is as good as mine, but it could be one of those persistent males courting away…

      March 19, 2015 at 2:01 pm

  2. I remember as a kid hearing their call for the first time. I thought someone was blowing across an empty soda bottle – lol!

    March 19, 2015 at 1:10 pm

  3. It’s a perfect likeness, Eliza!

    March 19, 2015 at 2:01 pm

  4. Marilyn

    I was told that cooing portends rain (“I’ve got a headache”?), which seems to be so.

    March 19, 2015 at 7:54 pm

  5. Jennifer Sawyer

    This is today’s posting from the New Hampshire naturalist. I mentioned… Interesting blogs…- animal, vegetable and mineral…

    Today was delightful Jane… Thanks for the visit… Joyous and safe travels to you and Fred… Best, Jenny

    Sent from my iPad


    March 20, 2015 at 9:34 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s