Wednesday, July 13, 2011

#60 Keeping an Eye On.... Mourning Doves

Named for their haunting "coo" sounds, Mourning Doves are distributed abundantly throughout the United States.

Mourning Doves feed their offspring a protein-rich crop milk, which the chicks retrieve by placing their beaks down the throat of the parents - both mother and father.  The young thrive on this sustenance for about a week after hatching, after which the chick is weaned off of crop milk and fed a mixture of regurgitated seeds and fruits.

Doves and Pigeons are unique in that they are among very few bird families that feed their young with crop milk.
photo © adrian binns

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