In North America, Mourning Doves are one of the most numerous and wide spread birds. However, at our location, we see a Mourning Dove only once or twice a year. Rather than heading over to the bird feeders, the dove pecks through the driveway rocks.
One of the most interesting things about these doves is their production of what is called "pigeon milk" or "crop milk." Within a few days before eggs hatch, both male and females start producing the milk. This milk, which is secreted from the crop lining, is extremely rich in nutrients and resembles cottage cheese in its texture. The chicks are fed the milk for one week to two weeks before other softened food is introduced.
Unlike traditional bird feeding where the parent regurgitates food into the chick's mouth, these chicks stick their heads deep inside the mouth of the parent in order to gorge themselves on this thick-textured nutritional food.