mourning dove vs pigeon know the differences

Mourning doves and pigeons are two bird species commonly found in various environments, but they possess unique characteristics that distinguish them from each other.

Let’s uncover main differences between mourning doves and pigeons, shedding light on their appearances, behaviors, and habitats.

Similarities between Mourning Dove and Pigeon

Pigeons and Mourning Doves might seem quite different at first glance, but they actually share a bunch of cool similarities.

Let’s dive in and check them out!

First off, both pigeons, which are also known as Rock Doves, and Mourning Doves are part of the same big bird family. This means they’re kind of like distant cousins in the bird world. They both have sleek bodies and round heads, which help them fly really well. When they flap their wings, they’re super strong flyers and can zip through the air with ease.

Another similarity is where they like to hang out. Both pigeons and Mourning Doves are pretty comfortable living near people. You’ll often find pigeons in cities and towns, hanging out in parks or on buildings, while Mourning Doves are more likely to be seen in backyards or around farms. But both birds have adapted to share space with humans, finding food and places to nest in our neighborhoods.

Speaking of food, both of these birds aren’t picky eaters. They love to eat seeds and grains, and you’ll often see them pecking at the ground looking for a snack. This love for seeds means that people can easily feed them, whether it’s birdseed in a backyard feeder for Mourning Doves or crumbs in a city square for pigeons.

They also have a similar way of drinking water, which is pretty unique. Unlike many other birds that scoop up water and then tilt their heads back to swallow, pigeons and Mourning Doves can suck up water and swallow it without having to look up. It’s like they have their own built-in straws!

Lastly, both pigeons and Mourning Doves are known for their cooing sounds. While their songs might be a bit different, they both make these soft, soothing coo noises that can be pretty relaxing to listen to. It’s one of the ways they communicate with each other, whether it’s to attract a mate or just chat with their pigeon or dove friends.

So, even though pigeons and Mourning Doves might not look exactly the same, they share a lot of cool traits that make them fascinating birds to learn about and observe. Whether it’s their flying skills, where they live, what they eat, how they drink, or the sounds they make, there’s a lot that these bird cousins have in common!

Difference between Mourning Dove and Pigeon

You have got an idea how similar these birds are, now it’s time to unwrap some differences between them.

Appearance Differences

Mourning doves are relatively smaller birds with a slender build. They feature a distinctive soft grayish-brown body with a pinkish hue on their chest. Their tails are long and tapered, and they have dark spots on their wings. A notable physical trait is the dark line under their eyes, resembling teardrops.

Pigeons, often referred to as rock pigeons or city pigeons, are larger and stockier in comparison to mourning doves. They exhibit a broader color range, including grays, blues, and even iridescent greens and purples. Their tails are rounded rather than tapered, giving them a distinct appearance.

Behavior Difference

Mourning doves are known for their gentle and unassuming behavior. They are often solitary or found in pairs, and their soft cooing calls have a calming effect. These doves are primarily ground feeders and are less likely to form large flocks.

mourning dove appearance,speed,size, bahavior

Pigeons are highly adaptable and often seen in large urban flocks. They are more assertive in their interactions with other birds, especially when competing for food. They can be quite vocal, and their cooing tends to be louder and less melodious compared to mourning doves.

Mourning Dove vs. Pigeon- Habitat Differences

Mourning doves are commonly found in a range of habitats, including woodlands, gardens, and open fields. They prefer quieter and less crowded environments for nesting and foraging.

Pigeons are renowned for their ability to thrive in urban settings. They are frequently seen in bustling city centers, scavenging for food among human populations. Their adaptability to crowded areas is a key characteristic.

Domestication Difference

Mourning doves are generally not kept as pets due to their delicate and wild nature. They are appreciated for their graceful presence in natural settings.

Pigeons have a history of domestication and have been bred for various purposes. Homing pigeons, a specific pigeon breed, have been used as messenger birds due to their exceptional navigation skills.

Mourning Dove vs. Pigeon Size Differences

Mourning doves are relatively smaller birds with a slender build, measuring about 9-13 inches (23-33 cm) in length.


Pigeons, on the other hand, are larger and more robust, with an average length of about 11-15 inches (28-38 cm).

Speed Differences

Mourning doves are known for their swift and agile flight. They can reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour (88.5 km/h) when flying.

Pigeons are also capable flyers but are generally not as fast as mourning doves. They fly at speeds of around 35 miles per hour (56 km/h).

Difference Between Mourning Dove and  Pigeon Lifespan

Mourning doves have a relatively shorter lifespan in the wild, typically living for 1 to 1.5 years on average due to predation, diseases, and environmental factors.

Pigeons have a longer lifespan, with individuals in urban environments often reaching 3 to 5 years or more, thanks to access to food and protection from predators.

Diet Difference of Mourning Dove and Pigeon

Mourning doves primarily have a seed-based diet, with a preference for small grains like millet and sunflower seeds. They are also known to consume some insects and fruits.

Pigeons are more versatile in their diet and are opportunistic feeders. They consume a wider range of foods, including seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, and even human food scraps. This adaptability contributes to their success in urban environments.

Mourning Dove vs Pigeon Sound Differences

The most distinctive sound of a mourning dove is its soft and melancholic cooing, which is often described as a mournful “coo-OOO-oo” or “coo-COO-coo.” The cooing of mourning doves is typically gentle, soothing, and repetitive.

Pigeons, also known as rock pigeons or city pigeons, produce a cooing sound that is coarser and less melodious compared to mourning doves. It often consists of a series of repeated coos, such as “coo-coo-coo.”

The cooing of mourning doves is relatively quiet and doesn’t carry over long distances. It’s more of a melodious, understated sound.

Pigeons tend to be louder in their vocalizations compared to mourning doves. Their cooing can be quite robust and may carry over greater distances, making it more noticeable in urban environments.

Mourning Dove vs Pigeon Table

Characteristic Mourning Dove Pigeon (Rock Pigeon)
Size Smaller, 9-13 inches Larger, 11-15 inches
Speed Swift, up to 55 mph Flying at around 35 mph
Lifespan (Wild) 1 to 1.5 years 3 to 5 years or more
Diet Primarily seeds, some insects and fruits Seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, and scraps


Wrap up

While both mourning doves and pigeons produce cooing sounds, the sounds of mourning doves are softer, more melodious, and often associated with a sense of tranquility. Pigeon cooing, on the other hand, is coarser and can be more assertive in terms of volume, especially when heard in larger flocks in urban areas


Are pigeons and mourning doves the same bird?

No, pigeons and mourning doves are not the same bird. They belong to the same family, Columbidae, but they have distinct characteristics and appearances.

What is the difference between a dove and a mourning dove?

“Dove” is a general term that encompasses various species, while a “mourning dove” refers to a specific species known for its soft cooing and muted colors.

Is a dove just a white pigeon?

No, a dove is not just a white pigeon. Doves can come in a variety of colors and species, while pigeons, including the common rock pigeon, are known for their diverse coloration.

Shabd Roop is a crucial aspect of Sanskrit grammar. It serves as the key to unlocking the syntax of the language, playing a vital role in sentence construction. Understanding the various forms of Shabd Roop is essential for comprehending the structure and meaning of sentences in Sanskrit. By grasping the nuances of Shabd Roop, learners can enhance their proficiency in the language and gain a deeper insight into its linguistic intricacies. This knowledge empowers individuals to effectively communicate and interpret Sanskrit texts with accuracy and precision.

Are mourning doves good or bad?

Mourning doves are neither inherently good nor bad. They are wild birds with their own ecological roles. Some people appreciate their gentle presence and cooing, while others may consider them pests in certain situations.

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