Turtle dove. Carolina pigeon. Rain dove.
These are all names for Zenaida macroura, although it is most commonly known as the mourning dove.
I have a strange affinity towards mourning doves. There was always a pair living in the pine tree in my childhood front yard. As such, whenever I was outside playing, I would constantly hear their plaintive call: “oo-OO-oo, oo, oo, oo.”
I’m not really one to put stock in the idea of spirit animals, but I suppose if I were to choose one as a representation of myself, I would likely pick the mourning dove. As a people-pleasing, highly sensitive INFJ, I definitely identify with wanting peace and for everyone to get along. Moreover, my shyness and wallflower tendencies (especially in middle and high school) would often cause people to ask if I was okay. I guess, like the mourning dove’s song, I simply appear to be sad or forlorn to those around me. Though I am an optimist, and am often quite fun-loving, I think I often do give off a somewhat melancholic vibe.
Here are some fun facts about mourning doves:
- There are five subspecies of Zenaida macroura
- They are among one of the most common gamebirds in North America
- They primarily eat seeds and grains, with very little to no insect consumption
- Zenaida doves were named after Princess Zenaïde Bonaparte, by her husband and cousin, ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte (Niece and nephew to Napoleon Bonaparte, respectively)
- Like other doves (and flamingos and some penguins), they feed their squabs crop milk — a secretion of the lining of the crop that the parents regurgitate in order to give nutrients to their young (…yum?)
And that’s a wrap on the A-to-Z Challenge 2015! I had so much fun!! Look forward to a reflection post in the next few days. Thanks for reading, everyone!