Mourning dove feeders are a type of bird feeder that allows you to supply mourning doves with food and closely observe them. They are used to attract doves and supplement the foods these birds eat in your environment. They are most useful during periods when the temperature isn’t favorable to birds.
Usually, you should place your mourning dove feeders in a place that is safe and in your line of sight. Also, it would help if you didn’t put your feeders in areas prone to collisions or accidents, such as walkways. Ensure the feeders are also in a clean environment.
To make your mourning dove feeders last longer, you need to regularly clean and maintain them. Below are the best type of feeders to use as mourning dove feeders and where to place them.
How To Identify Mourning Doves
Considered a close relative to Passenger Pigeons, mourning doves often move in flocks. Tapered and brown, they love to stay in suburban and agricultural areas. They have long tails and short legs.
They also love to stay in places where water is. However, you can’t find them in forests. They migrate a lot and are quick in the air.
If you check closely, you will find that they have missing toenails and frostbitten toes. They peck different weed seeds and grains on the ground while they are in flight, descending low to do that. You will find them perched on tree branches and power lines.
During winter, they migrate south or toward the west. They build their nests using pine needles, grass stems, twigs, etc. They also live in nests other birds have abandoned.
Both males and females work together to raise their babies; they incubate the eggs within a period of two to three weeks. Newborns are first fed with milk before seeds. They often make sad-sounding calls, which can be easily mistaken for an owl’s hooting.
Another essential characteristic of mourning doves is their loyalty to their mate during the breeding season. Some even stay with the same mate for life.
Bird Feeders for Mourning Doves
There are different types of bird feeders, but the kind you use depends on the birds. For instance, nectar feeders are best suited to orioles and hummingbirds, while suet feeders are best suited to nuthatches and woodpeckers.
For mourning doves, platform feeders are suitable. Platform feeders are the simplest of bird feeders. They are the most accessible because birds don’t need to go through any stress before eating the seeds.
In this feeding method, trays or other open platforms are used to hold the bird seeds. Platform feeders often attract different kinds of birds in their numbers. Besides, you can put different types of foods, such as pasta, nuts, bread, bird seeds, etc., on the open platform.
Platform feeders are made of plastic, wood, or metal. If you want a more durable one, a plastic-made platform feeder is great. If you want your platform feeder to be attractive, you can get one made with cedarwood.
Usually, besides the plastic, wood, or metal base, a platform feeder is also made with a mesh tray. A mesh tray allows for the cleanliness of the platform feeder. Not only does it serve as a platform to hold the bird seeds and for birds to perch on, but it also serves as a means of drainage.
Since a platform feeder can hold large amounts of bird seeds, you don’t have to refill it frequently. Besides, it is easy to clean and integrates well into a bird feeding station. It also allows you to watch the birds closely while they are feeding.
Even though a platform feeder is unrestricted, you should note that it will attract non-birds and pests. On windy solid days, the seeds can be blown around. It isn’t protected from the elements.
Also, you have to ensure the seeds don’t stay long on the platform. As such, you shouldn’t fill the feeder with too many sources. Ensure the seeds you put in the feeder are the birds’ choice or else, the birds won’t eat it.
Where To Place Mourning Dove Feeders
Where you place your mourning dove feeder is determined by how well you can see the feeder and the feeder’s safety in that location.
Place the feeder in line of sight
I would recommend you place the feeder in the line of your sight. Also, ensure it is safe from predators and possible collisions.
For instance, you don’t want to place your mourning dove feeders in walkways, pathways, etc. If you are placing your feeders near a window, ensure they are at least 30 feet far from your window. Also, don’t place your feeders close to a glass window because the chances of birds dying from crashing into the window are high.
Place the feeder near vegetation
You can also place your feeders near vegetation such as trees that can serve as shelter for birds. Ensure the trees offer the birds protection from predators as well. However, don’t place your feeders close to branches that house pests such as cats or squirrels.
The rule of thumb is to place the feeders where the birds are safe. You also have to ensure that the feeders aren’t out of your line of sight at any point in time.
Place the feeder where cleanliness is possible
In addition, you must keep your feeders clean as much as possible. Decomposing deeds, bird droppings, etc., contaminate the fresh seeds in the feeder and can even transmit diseases from the birds to humans.
If you regularly go near a contaminated bird feeder, you can get infected. As such, you need to clean your feeders to avoid the spread of diseases to other people in the environment.
You can clean your feeders by taking them apart and washing them with mild soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly to avoid soap residues contaminating the fresh seeds you want to put inside the feeders.
Clean the environment regularly too. Buildups of wasted seeds, bird droppings, etc., aren’t healthy for both the seeds and birds.
Place the feeder where mourning doves feel protected
Place the feeder where the garden is filled with shrubs, the doves feel such places as protected.
Your mourning dove feeders should be kept in safe and easily accessible places. Also, it would help if you cleaned them regularly to keep them from contamination. The environment should be free from buildups of wasted seeds and other dirt as well.