Use These Simple Tips For Attracting Mourning Doves to Your Backyard

Updated October 14, 2023

Mourning doves are a special bird to many people. Their gentle behavior and soft coo call, make them worth attracting to anyone's backyard.

These birds are year around backyard birds and according to Cornell Lab of Ornithology one of the most searched for bird.

If you're interested in attracting mourning doves to your yard or garden, we can offer a few simple steps you can take.

Below are the techniques and tips I and our website visitors use to get doves to feed and nest in our backyards.

attracting mourning doves with a heated birdbath

Mourning Doves on Heated Birdbath

Provide water. This is the best attractant for all birds both in summer and winter.

As you can see in the image above, having clean and open water in winter will bring birds, especially doves, to your yard.

There are multiple ways to provide water in winter. A Heated Bird Bath or Deicer can be had at affordable prices.

Use Plants to Attract Doves to Nest in Your Yard

Plant native plants: Doves are attracted to native plants, particularly those that produce seeds. The diet of Mourning Doves consists of seeds from plants and your bird seed.

Planting native plants in your yard can provide a food source for doves and other birds.

pine trees attract doves for nesting and shelter

Pine Tree for Doves

It's important to note that the specific native plant species that are attractive to doves will vary depending on the region you live in.

Evergreen trees like pine and cedar offer shelter in winter; and are attractive to doves for their first nest site in spring.

Consult with a local native plant nursery or gardening center for recommendations on the best native plants for doves in your area.

Offer a Hanging Basket For Mourning Doves to Nest Inside

That's right, many of our website visitors get Mourning Doves to their yards by placing hanging baskets for them to nest inside.

I've used a basket with coco lining a little soil and a few white pine needles hung under my garden gates roof, quickly attracting a nesting pair of doves.

Provide a safe and quiet environment: Doves are more likely to visit your yard if they feel safe and undisturbed.

Avoid using loud noises or bright lights, and provide places for doves to perch and rest, such as trees or shrubs.

Trees and shrubs give doves a welcoming environment, and a yard that will attract other birds to feed and nest.

Attracting Mourning Doves With The Right Seed

Offer a variety of seeds. Since doves are primarily seed-eaters, a variety of seeds placed in a proper tray feeder will attract them. Mourning Doves are ground-feeding birds, so it's best to keep feeders low to the ground.

I've found the smaller seeds attract Mourning doves better. Try safflower seeds, white millet, and cracked corn in a platform feeder. I like safflower seed best for attracting doves since squirrels leave it alone.

Another benefit of the safflower seed is that it also attracts those beautiful redbirds, Northern Cardinals.

Other seeds and grains include milo and wheat. Some seed mixtures add these. Make sure your feeders are in a open space where they can watch for predators.

seed head of the wheat plant

Wheat Seed Before Processed

No need to offer fruit or suet as Mourning Doves are not attracted to either although, it's a good thing for many other birds.

Doves are wild birds and feed in open fields and their ideal habitat for nesting is in the scattered trees found in these more open spaces.

The closer you can simulate this habitat in your backyard the better chance you'll have at attracting these gentle birds.

Symbolic Meaning of Mourning Doves Did You Know

So you ask, "is there any symbolic meaning around doves and their presence around someone?"

bride in a garden with a white dove

Bride and Dove

In many cultures, mourning doves are seen as symbols of peace and prosperity.

Their gentle, soothing call is often associated with feelings of comfort and calm, and they are often depicted in art and literature as symbols of hope and renewal.

In some cultures, mourning doves are also seen as symbols of love and devotion.

Their monogamous mating habits and strong pair bonds are thought to symbolize the enduring nature of love and commitment.

Mourning doves are also revered for their beauty and grace.

They are known for their elegant, slender bodies and their soft, iridescent feathers, which shimmer in the sunlight. These attributes are seen as symbols of beauty and elegance.

Overall, the symbolic meaning of mourning doves varies depending on the cultural context and the individual interpretation of the bird.

However, most cultures see them as symbols of peace, love, hope, and beauty.

See also: What Do Doves Mean to You?

birds and blooms magazine cover pioneer woman magazine cover people-magazine cover first for women magazine cover
Birds and Blooms Pioneer Woman People Magazine First For Women