- Bird

6 Confirmed Methods to Entice Mourning Doves to Feeders! (2022)

At the moment, I’ll present you SIX methods to draw Mourning Doves to your yard!


For my part, Mourning Doves are underrated and don’t get the respect they deserve at feeders. Sadly, some individuals don’t discover them fairly sufficient or assume they “hog” the feeders from different birds.


Right here’s why I like attracting Mourning Doves:

how to attract mourning doves

  • They’re comparatively peaceable and don’t “bully” smaller songbirds away.
  • Mourning Doves have a tendency to remain at your feeders for a very long time, which provides you an ideal likelihood to watch them. Many birds, like chickadees, rapidly take a bit of meals and eat it some other place out of view.
  • Since Mourning Doves get pleasure from consuming from the bottom, they’re nice at cleansing up seeds which have fallen from the feeders, which helps forestall rotting and rodents.
  • I discover them superbly coloured. Search for the blue ring surrounding their eyes and a pink iridescence on their necks!


I hope you get pleasure from and discover this data helpful. Along with Mourning Doves, the under data ought to work for different dove species, just like the Widespread Floor-Dove, Inca Dove, White-winged Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Band-tailed Pigeon, and even the acquainted and feral Rock Pigeon.


#1. Use their FOUR favourite meals!


Doves nearly completely eat seeds, which make up 99% of their food plan! So it ought to come as no shock that it is advisable provide an array of seeds at your hen feeding station to draw them.

attracting mourning doves

However not all seeds are created equal. When you take a look at a Mourning Dove’s beak, you will notice that it’s comparatively small. This implies they will’t crack open giant nuts or eat bigger seeds, similar to acorns. Naturally, doves eat huge quantities of small seeds, usually from wild grasses.


To draw Mourning Doves, attempt these FOUR meals:


A. Safflower seeds:

safflower seed - best bird food

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*Diet content material: 38% fats, 16% protein, 34% carbohydrates


My Mourning Doves LOVE safflower seeds and gorge themselves each day. However, in contrast to Northern Cardinals, that crack open safflower seeds to eat the meat inside, doves swallow it entire and let their crops digest all the seed. (The crop is an extension of the esophagus that shops the meals previous to it being digested)


A unbelievable good thing about safflower seeds is that many “downside” birds ignore them, which leaves extra meals for doves!


For instance, safflower seeds are utilized by many individuals (together with me) to stop blackbirds (similar to grackles and starlings) and squirrels!


B. White Proso Millet

white proso millet birdseed

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Diet Information: 4% fats, 11% protein, 73% carbohydrates


Millet is a favourite meals amongst many ground-feeding birds, like Mourning Doves. It’s typically not offered individually however is included in lots of birdseed mixes.


There are just a few various kinds of millet, however the very best one is white proso millet, which is a small spherical starchy grain.


A phrase of warning: Many birdseed mixes comprise RED proso millet, which is purple and smaller than white millet. Doves will eat purple millet, however most different birds won’t. So, if potential, I might attempt to keep away from shopping for a mixture that features purple millet.


C. Cracked Corn

cracked corn - types of birdseed

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Diet Info: 5% fats, 9% protein, 74% carbohydrates


Cracked corn is entire kernel corn that has been chopped up. Mourning Doves can’t eat WHOLE kernel corn as a result of it’s too massive, however they haven’t any downside consuming cracked corn.


The very best half about cracked corn is its INEXPENSIVE worth! The truth is, this grain is often utilized in birdseed mixes to assist get the general worth decrease.


D. Shelled Sunflower Seeds:

Hulled sunflower seed - best birdseed types

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Diet Info: 40% fats, 16% protein, 20% carbohydrates


Mourning Doves LOVE consuming sunflower seeds, however they appear to love them greatest when already shelled. Whereas they will swallow a complete black-oil sunflower seed, I’ve discovered they like to eat them with the husks already taken off.


One of many BEST elements about sunflower seeds is that they appeal to the widest quantity of birds versus every other meals. Critically, you possibly can anticipate cardinals, jays, nuthatches, titmice, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, finches, nutcrackers, juncos, blackbirds, sparrows, and grackles, along with doves!


A word about MILO seeds:

worst birdseed for mixes

There may be truly one other meals that Mourning Doves like to eat, which is named milo. It’s a standard “filler” seed and is utilized in many luggage of low cost birdseed. It’s extremely cheap to supply, which helps hold prices down.


Sadly, nearly no different hen will eat milo, apart from doves, Home Sparrows, quail, and Wild Turkeys. Due to this brief listing, and since I attempt to management the Home Sparrows at my feeders already, I don’t advocate shopping for birdseed mixes that comprise milo.


#2. Use such a feeder to draw Mourning Doves!


Okay, now that we all know which meals Mourning Doves can’t resist, we have to talk about the sorts of feeders they may use.


First, please know that any kind of tube feeder isn’t appropriate for doves. These birds are too giant to suit on the small metallic perch and may’t twist their our bodies round to the feeding port. As well as, any hen feeder that has a small perch or requires greedy to the perimeters (like a suet feeder) isn’t going to work.

Mourning Doves need a big, open space to feed. The very best feeders to make use of are trays or platforms. This lets these massive birds have loads of house to eat. Giant hopper feeders that present a lot of open house additionally work properly.


Right here is my favourite tray feeder to make use of:


Woodlink Tray Fowl Feeder

Click on PLAY under to see this feeder LIVE on the bottom in my yard! You may even see a Mourning Dove proper now. (Study extra about my dwell hen cams HERE)

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This feeder is a superb, multi-purpose tray. I really like that it can be utilized in 3 ways; on the bottom, hung within the air, or mounted to a pole.


To draw doves, the BEST place to place the tray is on the bottom. This location is the place they really feel probably the most snug consuming. Simply unfold a mix of sunflower seeds, white proso millet, safflower seeds, or cracked corn inside and watch them come! 🙂

I even have this feeder mounted to my pole, which provides Mourning Doves a big space to land and feed!

attracting mourning doves with the right feeders


  • The metallic display screen backside gives glorious drainage. So your meals won’t ever be sitting in standing water. The display screen backside can also be detachable and slides proper out. This function makes it straightforward to wash!


  • My solely criticism with this tray feeder is its sturdiness. It’s created from wooden, and the screws that join the fold-out legs are inclined to get unfastened after a yr or two and wish changing.


Placing meals straight on the bottom additionally attracts doves!


When you don’t wish to spend further cash on one other hen feeder, it’s not vital for Mourning Doves. As a substitute, throw a handful of their favourite meals straight on the bottom. That is the place they really feel probably the most snug consuming anyway.


The principle good thing about utilizing a floor feeder, just like the Woodlink Tray above, is that the meals stays brisker longer because it’s not mendacity on the bottom.


#3. Entice MOURNING DOVES by offering water!

attracting mourning doves with water

One other nice solution to get doves to go to your yard is to supply a continuing, constant water supply. Mourning Doves not solely will use it to maintain hydrated but additionally to wash and keep clear.


Doves have a singular approach of consuming. Most birds will take up one invoice’s price of water at a time, however doves use a suction methodology, which permits them to drink a steady stream of water. In underneath 20 seconds, they will suck up sufficient water for all the day!


One of the best ways to supply water is to purchase a hen bathtub (except you might be fortunate sufficient to have a stream or lake in your yard). And when it involves attracting Mourning Doves, it would be best to discover a GROUND BIRD BATH. As we have now already mentioned, these birds really feel most snug on the bottom.


Right here is the tub I exploit in my yard for Mourning Doves (and different birds):


Poly Lumber Birdbath

best ground bird baths

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First, I like that this floor bathtub is created from recycled poly lumber. This materials is extremely sturdy. I’ve owned this product for just a few years now, and there was no fading, splitting, or cracking of the fabric.


The peak of the tub is roughly 6 inches (15 cm) off the bottom, so it’s simply accessible for doves and lots of different animals. Even new child ducklings have been noticed leaping up and going for a swim!


I go away this birdbath in my yard all yr spherical. Throughout the winter, I place a deicer into the water to stop freezing. Because the water is just 2 inches (5 cm) deep, it freezes extraordinarily quick, as you possibly can think about.


Lastly, I needed to say that the plastic pan isn’t connected to the poly lumber. So this makes cleansing the pan extraordinarily straightforward! Nearly each time I refill the tub with water, I take away the pan and dump out the particles that the birds managed to spill into the water.


#4. Present loads of locations for them to perch.

attract mourning doves with natural food sources

When they don’t seem to be consuming, Mourning Doves like to perch collectively in flocks! Due to this fact, the extra perching locations in your yard, the extra doubtless these birds will dangle round.


The best habitat consists of a lot of giant timber! In case your yard is an enormous, big subject, it is best to take into account planting timber. You is likely to be considering that it’s going to take a very long time for that tree to develop tall sufficient to draw roosting Mourning Doves. However as they are saying, the very best time to plant a tree was 30 years in the past, and the second-best time is right this moment!


When you don’t have any timber, I wouldn’t fear an excessive amount of. The Mourning Doves in my yard LOVE perching on the highest of my home. It appears to offer them an ideal vantage level to look at the feeders. As well as, it’s additionally frequent to see doves sitting on energy traces.


#5. Place your feeding station close to security!


In comparison with different birds that come to your feeders, Mourning Doves are fairly giant, so that they make a tasty meal for birds of prey, particularly Cooper’s Hawks. As well as, doves are usually not as fast to take off as different songbirds, so they have an inclination to get preyed upon extra.


Whereas I do know that predators consuming prey is a part of nature, I don’t need the Mourning Doves in my yard to be sitting geese!


So, I like to recommend putting your feeding station as shut as potential to shelter and canopy. This offers birds a greater likelihood to get away and makes them really feel safer, so you’ll appeal to extra birds as properly. The worst place to place a hen feeder is in the midst of a barren, manicured garden!


For instance, under is a hen’s eye view of my yard. As you possibly can see, my feeding station is positioned alongside the woods. It’s additionally underneath some branches, making it tougher for a hawk to swoop in from above.

best locations for bird feeding station


#6. Panorama your yard with vegetation that present meals.


Among the best issues you are able to do to draw Mourning Doves is to give attention to the habitat in your yard.


Your objective is to plant flowers, shrubs, and timber that present a pure meals supply. And the very best half is that utilizing a mixture of the next vegetation not solely will appeal to doves but additionally all kinds of different species!

how to attract mourning doves

One in all my greatest suggestions is to let an space of your yard develop wild! All sorts of wildlife will desire this as an alternative of getting a finely manicured garden. The truth is, one of many WORST issues you are able to do for birds and different creatures is to have a monoculture of grass that is filled with pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizer.


Listed here are some vegetation that present meals sources for Mourning Doves:


*Please know that the listing under is by no means all-inclusive. Together with each flower, shrub, or tree which will appeal to Mourning Doves could be practically not possible. However I did my greatest to seek out vegetation that work properly and are comparatively frequent to seek out.*


  • A large assortment of native grasses (Canary, rye, goosegrass)
  • Buckwheat
  • Smartweed
  • Asters
  • Goldenrod
  • Pokeweed
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Sunflowers
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Pine timber (for each pine nuts for meals and nesting areas)
  • Sweetgum timber


How do YOU appeal to Mourning Doves?


Go away a remark under!


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