Wednesday, February 17, 2010

mourning dove

As elegant as ever, morning doves are plentiful in Sedona. This 1911 article, advocating protection for the turtle doves that cleaned cotton fields of the seeds of competing plants, must really have been about morning doves, since there's no turtle doves in America. The present day European doves are running out of the Fumitory plants they depend on as European farmers eliminate it with herbicides. But America's mourning doves are flexible eaters; corn, millet, safflower, sunflowers, pine nuts, sweetgum, pokeberry, amaranth, canary grass, sesame and wheat. If not these, buckwheat, goosegrass and smartweed. No doubt this adaptation allows them to survive the onslaught of game hunting; 70 million birds are shot annually for sport. Not in Brooklyn, though.

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