Where Do Mourning Doves Sleep at Night?

October 15, 2023

Mourning Doves are a common sight in parks, outside your window on a spring morning, and perched on powerlines on your way to work. They are one of the most beautiful birds to behold, and their soothing coos are often heard across North America. But where do mourning doves sleep at night?

Doves typically take daytime naps instead of nighttime sleep, as they need to be awake and alert in case of predators. However, they do roost at night, a process that occurs when the bird’s wings wrap around its body, creating a cloak of invisibility until dawn. During this time, doves are still able to use their sharp beaks for hunting or territorial disputes.

Unlike nesting, roosting is a very different process. It is usually done in warm locations to prevent the bird’s feathers from freezing in cold temperatures. Mourning doves roost in places like mountain cavities, trees on the inside edge of fields, dead trees, and even nest boxes. However, the main factor when choosing a roosting spot is that it must be out of sight of predators.

This is why they favor roosting in farms or dead trees where they can be hidden and protected from predators. Other factors to consider when deciding on a roosting spot include accessibility to food and water sources. Mourning doves are primarily seed-eaters and will search for a roosting location near a source of water and seeds to make sure they have what they need to survive.

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