Nesting Mourning Doves

mourning doveBelieve it or not, in the bird population the Mourning Dove leads the flocks with over 360 million birds followed by the robin at 320 million birds. The Mourning Dove, a cousin to pigeons, makes a sad cooing sound that reminds people of an owl’s call. Click to listen to the coo of the Mourning Dove.



Why are their numbers so large? Mourning Doves can have up to six broods, a group of baby birds born at the same time, in one season.

Materials Needed:

  • Small twigs
  • Tall grass
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • Leaves or seeds
  • Cotton
  • Straw from a broom
  • Shredded paper
  • Other found items from a nature walk

Use your found items to build a nest for a small bird. You can try weaving and stacking your materials but do not use glue. Test your nest by picking it up to see if it will stay together. If it doesn’t, try again with another design. Birds are great engineers and they have had lots of practice so don’t give up. When you are happy with the design take a picture of your nest and find a location in a covered area outside so birds can use the materials to build their nests this spring!

Did you know birds build their nests like engineers? Check out this New York Times article to learn more.

mourning dove coloring book page

Topic: Nature, Birds: Backyard Birds
Age / Level: 1, Primary