Doves are ground foragers and pick through the grass looking for seeds and insects. The bill is small, and thin but perfect for eating small seeds.
Mourning doves are elegant and softly coloured birds. They can be easily recognized by their soft grey-brown colour, and long tails with white spots that show as they fly. A closer look shows beautiful purple and green iridescent feathering on the neck that show brilliantly in the sunlight.
Mourning doves will eat cracked corn, black oil sunflower seeds, and millet. They will collect many dozens of small seeds at a time and store them in their crop (throat) to be digested later. These birds are relatively aggressive towards each other and other species, and most of the time other birds will give them space on a feeder. Mourning doves find it very difficult to perch on a hanging feeder so having food available on the ground or in a platform, tray type feeder works best. They will also make frequent use of a birdbath for drinking and for bathing.
Mourning doves are found throughout Nova Scotia especially near farmland, suburbs and mixed woodland forests. They build a very poorly constructed nest of twigs, and generally lay two eggs. Mourning doves stay all year long and are often found at backyard feeders, especially in the winter months. They will visit feeders in small to very large groups depending on the generosity of the homeowner.