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 Mourning Dove

Status in Michigan

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Mourning Dove.

Use the links below to view the Mourning Dove reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Mourning Dove sightings.
Mourning Dove Archives Reports
Fall 2003 1214
Spring 2003 322
Winter 02-03 1078
Fall 2002 264
Summer 2002 55
Spring 2002 295
Winter 01-02 904
Fall 2001 379
Summer 2001 62
Spring 2001 333
Winter 00-01 1442
Fall 2000 324
Summer 2000 224
Spring 2000 358
Winter 00-99 1007
Fall 1999 285
Spring/Summer 1999 20

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Mourning Dove

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Mourning Dove
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Mourning Dove
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Zenaidura macroura carolinensis (Linnaeus)
Eastern Mourning Dove (A.O.U. 1998: Mourning Dove)

Summer resident, abundant in southern half of the Lower Peninsula; locally common northward, but there is no confirmed nest record from the Upper Peninsula. Winter resident, sometimes common in the southern third of the Lower Peninsula, rare and local north to Luce County.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839 : 416).

SPRING.-The main flight is reported in southern counties during the latter part of March and early April; in the north, from late April to early May.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area, L. W. Campbell (1940: 204) has observed the beginning of main flight as early as March 2, though on the average not until March 23. Swales (notes) recorded Mourning Doves in numbers in the Detroit area by the last week in March or the first week in April. R. E. Olsen saw a flock of 50 in Hartland Township, Livingston County, on April 4, 1937; Gibbs (1885: 150) stated that Doves arrived in Kalamazoo County usually about March 15. D. W. Douglass observed several small flocks on Sand Point, Huron County, between April 12 and May 23, whose behavior "strongly suggested migration" (1932 and 1933) .

Upper Peninsula.-Bryens has reported arrival at McMillan, Luce County, in mid-April (April 12 in 1929 and 1930, and April 16 in 1924). On Isle Royale, in 1937, Laurence Dayton recorded Mourning Doves on May 17, 18, and 21.

SUMMER.-The nesting period in Michigan is known to extend from early April to early October.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales (1903: 14) listed the Mourning Dove as an abundant summer resident in the Detroit area; in the vicinity of Ann Arbor, T. D. Hinshaw found a nest (with 1 egg) as early as April 9 (1937), and Eli A. Gallup collected a young bird (U.M.M.Z.) about to leave the nest on April 27, 1941. In the Battle Creek area Walkinshaw found 2 young that left the nest on October 7,1931. F. W. Rapp (1931: 12) found nests in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, from April 26 (1896, nest with 2 eggs) to August 16 (1898, nest with 2 eggs). G. A. Ammann listed the Mourning Dove as a common summer resident at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, in the summer of 1940; N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 283) saw it occasionally at Sand Point, Huron County in 1908, and A. D. Tinker found a nest with eggs there on June 11, 1933. Chancy (1910:273) noted only a "few pairs" in the summer of 1909 at Hamlin Lake, Mason County; Van Tyne (1925: 616) found it numerous locally in Charlevoix County in 1923. This dove was listed as rare in the Douglas Lake area, Cheboygan County, by N. A. Wood, Smith, and Gates (1916: 9), but it was found there in "all the more open situations" by Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937).

Upper Peninsula.-Boies (1897: 20) reported the Mourning Dove as occasional in summer on Neebish Island, Chippewa County. Magee and Christofferson (1922: 566) recorded a number of Mourning Doves in the summers of 1921 and 1922 in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula.

T. D. Hinshaw and R. A. MacMullan listed the species as uncommon on Drummond Island, Chippewa County, in July, 1938. Brodkorb found it fairly common at Seney, Schoolcraft County, in the first half of June, 1938; Christofferson saw 6 there on June 7, 1937, and has recorded 1 or 2 each year on several occasions in June and July at Blaney, Schoolcraft County. Bryens has noted a similar status at McMillan, Luce County, in the past decade. Christy (1925:210) reported an individual on June 5 and 6 in 1925 in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County. An individual was seen at Golden Lake, Iron County, by John L. George and R. L. Patterson on July 27, 1938; and 1 on Isle Royale by Walter E. Hastings on July 29, 2023 (N. A. Wood, 1930: 267).

FALL.-The Eastern Mourning Dove leaves the Upper Peninsula by the end of September and the Lower Peninsula in late October.

Upper Peninsula.-An individual was seen at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, by Fargo on September 1, 1925. At McMillan, Luce County, Bryens has usually recorded this dove until sometime in the latter half of September (a maximum of 60 birds on September 11, 2023) and occasion- ally later (1 as late as October 8, 1933, and 1 on November 14, 2023).

Lower Peninsula.-In Kalamazoo County, Gibbs (1905: 73) found Mourning Doves "abundant" until November 1. Trautman saw about 100 at the Erie marsh, Monroe County, on September 9, 1934; L. W. Campbell (1940: 204) has reported the end of the main flight in the Toledo-Erie marsh area usually by October 22, but once as late as November 16.

WINTER.-Regular and occasionally numerous in the southern third of the Lower Peninsula, rare northward.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Detroit area Swales (1903: 14) noted a few individuals during the winter, and J. Butler (1912o; 38) saw 62 there on December 24, 1911. In the vicinity of Ann Arbor a few individuals or small flocks have been reported nearly every winter and once a flock of 300 (by James H. Wood on January 21, 2023). A few have been found at Lansing (Barrows, 1912: 252) and also about Battle Creek (E. M. Brigham, Jr., and others, 1939: 37-38). At Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, F. W. Rapp (1931: 11-12) seldom observed the species in winter, but during the winter of 1935-36 he saw 6 flocks totaling 55 birds. G. A. Ammann saw 2 on January 17, 1940, at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County; Maurice G. Brooks saw 1 in northern Gratiot County on February 12, 1939; and Verne Dockham reported several near Fairview, Oscoda County, in February, 1941.

Upper Peninsula.-At McMillan, Luce County, Bryens saw 19 Mourning Doves on January 8, 8 on February 5, and 2 in early March, 1939.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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