Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Mourning Dove - Zenaida macroura
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General Comments This is arguably one of most widespread and common birds in the state, being found from the coast to the mountains, though scarce at higher elevations. Hundreds of thousands of Mourning Doves are harvested annually by North Carolina hunters, yet the population seems to have been reasonably stable/constant for many decades. The species occupies about as many habitats as any bird in the state -- residential areas, towns, farms, agricultural areas, open woods, and woodland edges are many of its haunts. It even occurs inside forests, to some extent, but mostly avoids marshes, as well as high elevation areas.
Breeding Status Breeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank S5B,S5N
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Permanent resident, perhaps with some migratory movements. Common to abundant throughout, even on barrier islands. Peak counts:
Piedmont Permanent resident, perhaps with some migratory movements. Very common to abundant throughout. Peak counts:
Mountains Permanent resident, with migratory movements. Common to very common at lower and middle elevations in the warmer months; common in winter in the lower elevations (below 2,500 feet), but mostly only uncommon to fairly common in winter from 2,500 - 3,500 feet. Not numerous above 3,500 feet in the breeding season, and scarce above that elevation in winter. Peak counts:
Finding Tips None needed.
Attribution LeGrand[2012-06-24], LeGrand[2011-12-07], LeGrand[2011-05-21]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.
NC Breeding Season Map
Map depicts assumed breeding season abundance for the species.