Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) Science Article 3
The Mourning Dove (Zenaidam acroura) has a suite of adaptations that promotes multiple brooding, a common characteristic among columbids. Mourning Doves are well adapted for multiple brooding because they produce food (crop milk) for young nestlings in vivo and feed older nestlings a diverse granivorous diet. This facilitates extended breeding seasons and, thus, multiple brooding. Other traits such as constant incubation, fastnestling growth, and fledging at low weight serve to shorten the nesting cycle and enhancethe number of broods that can be produced. Constant incubation also allows columbids tohave no incubation patch.
DAVID WESTMORELAND, LOUIS B. BEST, DAVID E. BLOCKSTEIN, The Auk 103: 196-20