Mourning Doves have gone viral on TikTok. Many millennials (myself included) now recognize them as the birds we grew up hearing during our childhood summer breaks. Their soft cooing on hot summer afternoons is full of nostalgia, just like the Backstreet Boys’ Millennium album.
But I have good news: These birds are still abundant in neighborhoods across the country, just like they were 20 years ago. They didn’t go anywhere! And with a few simple steps, you can easily attract them to your yard and continue to hear their calls regularly. Bring back the 90s summer bird hit banger!
Here are four simple steps you can take to attract Mourning Doves to your yard.
Provide Food Mourning Doves Like
Mourning Doves love visiting bird feeders for a snack. So, providing them with a variety of seeds is a great way to attract them to your yard. I’ve had the best luck offering white millet or sunflower chips. My local doves also love when I put out a no-mess bird seed (which has both of these ingredients).
They don’t have large beaks to break through regular shelled sunflower seed. Safflower seed and cracked corn are also appealing.
Also, Mourning Doves are big. They prefer to feed on the ground. So, scattering seeds or providing a large, sturdy platform feeder are good options.
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Mourning Doves appreciate water for drinking and bathing. So, providing them with a source of water in your yard is a nice touch. A sturdy bird bath will work wonders in bringing birds to your yard year-round.
Consider buying a larger bird bath for Mourning Doves. They’re larger than most other songbirds and need the support.
Also, be sure to refresh the water and clean your bird bath regularly to avoid mold, bacteria and other nasty stuff from accumulating to harm birds.
Plant Natural, Native Vegetation
Like a bird bath, this is a universal tip for more birds in your yard. Mourning Doves love having a variety of spots to perch, so planting native plants and trees in your yard can make it more appealing to them.
Mourning Doves also spend a lot of time on the ground (especially when eating) and fertilizer can be harmful. Consider cutting down your pesticide use and/or letting your lawn grow a little more during the summer.
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Provide a Nest Shelf in the Spring
Mourning Doves will nest in a variety of places, you can easily find them nesting on apartment buildings, brush, trees and even chimneys. But, giving them a sturdy-built nest shelf 10-15 feet in the air can be especially appealing.
I like this shelf design you can find from Menards linked here. This shelf on Amazon is also appealing.
Want to do it yourself? I liked this DIY dove nest box video tutorial on YouTube below.
Mourning Doves won’t use nest boxes as they prefer more open spaces. They don’t like to be cut off while nesting.
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