Backyard Wildlife: Mourning Doves

For at least eight summers now, we’ve had a pair mourning dove  visiting our backyard.  Every year, they have a child.  Last year, my son and I were able to watch the parents teach the baby to fly.  So cute!  They showed up just a week ago with their child from this summer.  I’m sad to say one of them (we think it’s the mother) lost a foot a few days ago.  Our five-year-old is, of course, distressed about it.  The birds that regularly visit our yard are his buddies.  The dove seems to be doing OK, though.  The other one (we think the father) keeps watch while she scours our backyard, looking for birdseed that’s fallen out of the feeders.  Such sweet, loving, beautiful birds!

Want to bring more wildlife into your backyard? Learn how here…  Attract Wildlife to Your Home:  Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat


  1. As a wildlife veterinarian, I have seen a lot of these foot amputations due to entanglement in fishing line, kite string, what have you. Seems to be the most common cause. But as many in this thread have said, the birds adapt very well. Tough little buggers. But you’ve got to be, with all this dangerous human garbage lying around!


    1. Thanks! I was trying to visualize what it might’ve had its leg stuck in, and that makes sense. My son and I came up with some creative ideas, but, not living near water, fishing line didn’t occur to me. Of course these pollution items are out there… even in our relatively clean neighborhood.


  2. What a wonderful experience! We have a lot of wonderful birds in our yard and we do pay attention to attracting what we can, but I’ve never had “repeat boarders” that I know of! What a delight! I’m wonder what happened for the mama to lose her foot? If it was a close call with a cat or other animal than I guess the comfort is that she is still alive! Great post. Debra


    1. My son has repeatedly asked us to go through all the things that might’ve happened to the foot. We do have house cats, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, raptors, etc. out there, so it could’ve been just about anything. Or perhaps was stuck in something? I still can’t tell if the foot is missing or tucked up to protect an injury.

      I saw something cool yesterday… there were four doves out there. Now that’s a first for us, as it’s usually two or three.


  3. Is it possible the foot is tucked out of the way to protect an injury? They are delightful. We had a nesting pair a few years ago in an hanging plant on our porch. It was a great experience for us all.


    1. Sure, it could have it’s leg tucked up. I’ll pull out the binoculars to try to figure that out. From what I can see is it has a leg, but no foot. So cool to have had a pair nesting in the backyard. I’m glad this pair visits us during the day, though!


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s