Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mourning Doves are susceptible to frostbite.

While reading about how chickadees, titmice and other winter birds fight the cold, and how ducks and swans can survive in icy water, I read that some birds don’t do as well in cold. Mourning Doves have only recently expanded their range northward (in the last century). As a result, they are not quite as cold tolerant as the mighty chickadees, cardinals, titmice and other winter favorites. During extreme cold, Mourning Doves suffer and can lose toes to frostbite. 

Larry captured this dove doing what looks like the "Ack! It's cold" dance!

Cold, cold on my feet! Why do I stay in this icy town all winter? 

7 comments:

Kallen305 said...

Fantastic photo of the mourning dove. I notice I don't see them as much in my yard when it's cold out. They must be roosting somewhere to try and keep warm.

Laure Ferlita said...

Lovely image, but it does look cold! Brrrrrrr!

Roy said...

Huh! I didn't know that any birds could get frostbite. Our Mourning Doves are here year round. Maybe I should start looking at their feet to see if they're missing any digits.

BTW, I do believe I saw a leucistic female Mallard today. Not the mottled kind, but the kind where the feathers are paler (but not white) all over, and the characteristic markings remain. When I download today's photos to the computer later I'll have to take a closer look.

troutbirder said...

Odd & interesting. For the last three years here in southeaster Minnesota I have had 2 mourning doves winter over. This year there were 6 all winter. And Thursday before a big ice storm I counted 11. There seemed to puff out there feathers bit time when the temp dropped below zero as well.

Steve B said...

Very nice image. However if I had wings and didn't have to worry about making money, I'd be flying south.

Kathy said...

What a beautiful bird. I always feel bad for birds when the weather is really cold. Always wonder how they stay warm.

Kelly said...

Kallen and Laure...I know, poor little things...

Roy...I didn't either until I started researching. I found numerous accounts of doves that did indeed loose toes. People see them at their feeders with one or more missing :-(

Troutbirder...Many reports show the winters up north in Minnesota are especially hard on them when the below zero temps move in for long periods of time.

I'm with you Steve...fly me to beach!

Kathy...I did too. Most are so adapted they have no problems with the cold temps, which amazes me and makes me love them more!