Skokie Tracks #3: Mourning Dove - Zenaida macroura
Next in my little series about THIS section of abandoned rail line in Skokie, IL is the Mourning Dove. When I walk along the short stretch of rail line, I often see a single or pair of Zenaida macroura resting on a telephone wire or on top of a roof. I've always loved Mourning Doves, and their soft call is one of the first bird vocalizations I learned to recognize when I was little. Like the other 2 birds species I have posted about in relation to this patch of Skokie, it is another species that has benefitted from human landscape changes. They are generalists that tend to prefer open habitat over heavily forested. Like other members of the Columbid family, they feed their young with a secretion from their crop referred to as "crop milk". U.S. population estimates have been around 350 million.