Have you recently discovered that Mourning Doves make a cooing sound that can sound a bit like the hooting of an owl? Were you surprised a little? I was the very first time I realized the call I was hearing was a Mourning Dove and not one of the owl species that calls Florida home. (The sunshine state is home year-round to Great Horned Owls, Barred Owls, Eastern Screech Owls, Barn Owls, and Burrowing Owls.)
A Little Bit About Mourning Doves
So, let me back up a bit. Mourning Doves are the only native dove in Florida. In your yard, you’d likely see them perched high in a tree or on the ground searching for food. These particular birds are common to see eating seeds on the ground under bird feeders. They will also frequent bird baths. Some fun facts about these birds include the fact that they are monogamous and commonly mate for life. They are very hands-on parents, as both the male and female will incubate the eggs. They work in “shifts” and both watch over their young once born. The tendency for Mourning Doves to be committed to their partners and young can lead to some great wildlife-watching opportunities.
Comparing Mourning Dove Calls to Owl Calls
Click on the name of the bird below to head to the corresponding Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Sounds Page, which is an excellent resource for learning bird calls.
Keep Listening and Practicing
It might take a little time to be able to quickly ID each of these calls. Just continue to practice and you’ll get the hang of it. Eventually, it’ll become second nature for you. One thing is for certain: no matter if you are hearing a “coo” from a Mourning Dove or a call from an Owl, you can enjoy a beautiful song from an awesome bird.
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