Mourning Dove Video Portrait

placeholder image for Mourning Dove clip

May 7, 2010, near Columbia, Missouri.

Lang has finally arrived to share a spring marathon of nature adventures, some of which we are capturing with video and sound to share with you. Spring migration here in the Midwest is late this year, but some new birds are arriving almost every day, and we are getting mixtures of early spring and summer frogs. The theme of our website – nature near at hand – is exemplified by my first contribution to the blog: a Mourning Dove. Not an exotic or rare bird, but a soft-brown, shy bird whose cooing is a comforting sound heard in most of America.

While Lang and his assistant, Beth, were on another part of our property here on the Missouri Bluffs (see Lang’s entry on Horned Larks to see some of the scenery), I set up my gear in the front yard near the Indian mound situated across from our home. I was getting snippets of Nashville and Black-and-White Warblers, a Scarlet Tanager, Philadelphia Vireo, and a singing Northern Cardinal when the Mourning Dove flew in a perched on a dead branch in near-perfect morning light. All I had to do was to slowly swing the camera and microphones toward the bird, and not only did it stay put but soon began to coo and preen.


  1. Excellent video! As you mentioned, not that they’re rare, but it’s comforting to hear the song of a Mourning Dove, especially on a nice spring or early summer day. Sometimes I hear them coo in winter. I like how the dove’s throat “puffs up” as he cools, and I have seen them do this many times in real life.

  2. I could watch mourning doves for a long, long time. This fellow adds an extra little note on the last hoot; the doves here in Vermont don’t do that. When I lived in Holland I was fascinated with the Wood Dove. They’re quite large, have a ringed neck, and also do a charismatic song.
    Mr. Eliot your work is fantastic. Care to share what type of camera you’re using?

  3. Do you know where I could buy a CD with the sounds of the morning dove along with other birds ? EG: like this video.

    thank you

    • Jim: No, I don’t know any CDs that feature Mourning Doves, though I fully intend to make a number of soundscape titles available in the coming months and many tracks will include the doves. When the soundscapes appear, they will be prominently mentioned on the home page of

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