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Featured in “The World As We See It , or as we missed it” March 2011
A close-up of a Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) blending into its surroundings at a favorite watering hole for a mid morning drink. This bird is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds and gets its name from its plaintive woo-oo-oo-oo call. It is a prolific breeder and one pair may raise up to six broods a year! This is probably just as well as it is also the leading game bird, with up to 70 million birds shot annually in the U.S, both for sport and for meat. However its conservation status falls into the “least concern” category (the number of individual Mourning Doves is estimated to be approximately 475 million).
Interestingly, it is considered to be the most closely related species to the Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), which was hunted to extinction in the early 1900s. This species had also been one of the most abundant in the world during the 19th Century and one sighting in 1866 in southern Ontario was described as being 1 mile wide, 300 miles long, and taking 14 hours to pass a single point with number estimates in excess of 3.5 billion birds in the flock!………..
But history couldn’t repeat itself……could it?
Photographed at Cabin Lake, Oregon, USA
1/2500sec f6.3 ISO 320