6 Confirmed Methods to Entice Mourning Doves to Feeders! (2022)


In the present day, I’ll present you SIX methods to draw Mourning Doves to your yard!


For my part, Mourning Doves are underrated and don’t get the respect they deserve at feeders. Sadly, some folks don’t discover them fairly sufficient or suppose they “hog” the feeders from different birds.


Right here’s why I like attracting Mourning Doves:

  • They’re comparatively peaceable and don’t “bully” smaller songbirds away.
  • Mourning Doves have a tendency to remain at your feeders for a very long time, which provides you an incredible probability to look at them. Many birds, like chickadees, rapidly take a bit of meals and eat it some other place out of view.
  • Since Mourning Doves take pleasure in consuming from the bottom, they’re nice at cleansing up seeds which have fallen from the feeders, which helps forestall rotting and rodents.
  • I discover them superbly coloured. Search for the blue ring surrounding their eyes and a pink iridescence on their necks!


I hope you take pleasure in and discover this info helpful. Along with Mourning Doves, the beneath info ought to work for different dove species, just like the Frequent Floor-Dove, Inca Dove, White-winged Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Band-tailed Pigeon, and even the acquainted and feral Rock Pigeon.


#1. Use their FOUR favourite meals!


Doves nearly solely eat seeds, which make up 99% of their food plan! So it ought to come as no shock that it’s essential provide an array of seeds at your chook feeding station to draw them.

attracting mourning doves

However not all seeds are created equal. In case you take a look at a Mourning Dove’s beak, you will notice that it’s comparatively small. This implies they’ll’t crack open massive nuts or eat bigger seeds, similar to acorns. Naturally, doves devour large quantities of small seeds, usually from wild grasses.


To draw Mourning Doves, attempt these FOUR meals:


A. Safflower seeds:

safflower seed - best bird food

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*Vitamin content material: 38% fats, 16% protein, 34% carbohydrates


My Mourning Doves LOVE safflower seeds and gorge themselves every day. However, not like Northern Cardinals, that crack open safflower seeds to eat the meat inside, doves swallow it complete and let their crops digest your entire seed. (The crop is an extension of the esophagus that shops the meals previous to it being digested)


A implausible good thing about safflower seeds is that many “drawback” birds ignore them, which leaves extra meals for doves!


For instance, safflower seeds are utilized by many individuals (together with me) to stop blackbirds (similar to grackles and starlings) and squirrels!


B. White Proso Millet

white proso millet birdseed

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Vitamin Information: 4% fats, 11% protein, 73% carbohydrates


Millet is a favourite meals amongst many ground-feeding birds, like Mourning Doves. It’s usually not bought individually however is included in lots of birdseed mixes.


There are just a few several types of millet, however one of the best one is white proso millet, which is a small spherical starchy grain.


A phrase of warning: Many birdseed mixes comprise RED proso millet, which is purple and smaller than white millet. Doves will eat purple millet, however most different birds won’t. So, if doable, I’d attempt to keep away from shopping for a mixture that features purple millet.


C. Cracked Corn

cracked corn - types of birdseed

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Vitamin Data: 5% fats, 9% protein, 74% carbohydrates


Cracked corn is complete kernel corn that has been chopped up. Mourning Doves can’t eat WHOLE kernel corn as a result of it’s too massive, however they don’t have any drawback consuming cracked corn.


The perfect half about cracked corn is its INEXPENSIVE value! In actual fact, this grain is often utilized in birdseed mixes to assist get the general value decrease.


D. Shelled Sunflower Seeds:

Hulled sunflower seed - best birdseed types

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Vitamin Data: 40% fats, 16% protein, 20% carbohydrates


Mourning Doves LOVE consuming sunflower seeds, however they appear to love them greatest when already shelled. Whereas they’ll swallow a whole black-oil sunflower seed, I’ve discovered they like to eat them with the husks already taken off.


One of many BEST elements about sunflower seeds is that they appeal to the widest quantity of birds versus another meals. Critically, you’ll be able to anticipate cardinals, jays, nuthatches, titmice, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, finches, nutcrackers, juncos, blackbirds, sparrows, and grackles, along with doves!


A be aware about MILO seeds:

worst birdseed for mixes

There may be truly one other meals that Mourning Doves like to eat, which is known as milo. It’s a standard “filler” seed and is utilized in many luggage of low cost birdseed. It’s extremely cheap to provide, which helps hold prices down.


Sadly, nearly no different chook will eat milo, apart from doves, Home Sparrows, quail, and Wild Turkeys. Due to this brief listing, and since I attempt to management the Home Sparrows at my feeders already, I don’t suggest shopping for birdseed mixes that comprise milo.


#2. Use this sort of feeder to draw Mourning Doves!


Okay, now that we all know which meals Mourning Doves can’t resist, we have to talk about the sorts of feeders they’ll use.


First, please know that any form of tube feeder will not be appropriate for doves. These birds are too massive to suit on the small steel perch and may’t twist their our bodies round to the feeding port. As well as, any chook feeder that has a small perch or requires greedy to the edges (like a suet feeder) will not be going to work.

Mourning Doves need a big, open space to feed. The perfect feeders to make use of are trays or platforms. This lets these massive birds have loads of area to eat. Massive hopper feeders that present numerous open area additionally work effectively.


Right here is my favourite tray feeder to make use of:


Woodlink Tray Bird Feeder

Click on PLAY beneath to see this feeder LIVE on the bottom in my yard! You may even see a Mourning Dove proper now. (Be taught extra about my dwell chook cams HERE)

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This feeder is a wonderful, multi-purpose tray. I really like that it may be utilized in 3 ways; on the bottom, hung within the air, or mounted to a pole.


To draw doves, the BEST place to place the tray is on the bottom. This location is the place they really feel essentially the most snug consuming. Simply unfold a mix of sunflower seeds, white proso millet, safflower seeds, or cracked corn inside and watch them come! 🙂

I even have this feeder mounted to my pole, which provides Mourning Doves a big space to land and feed!

attracting mourning doves with the right feeders


  • The steel display screen backside gives wonderful drainage. So your meals won’t ever be sitting in standing water. The display screen backside can be detachable and slides proper out. This characteristic makes it simple to scrub!


  • My solely criticism with this tray feeder is its sturdiness. It’s produced from wooden, and the screws that join the fold-out legs are inclined to get unfastened after a yr or two and wish changing.


Placing meals straight on the bottom additionally attracts doves!


In case you don’t need to spend further cash on one other chook feeder, it’s not obligatory for Mourning Doves. As an alternative, throw a handful of their favourite meals straight on the bottom. That is the place they really feel essentially the most snug consuming anyway.


The primary good thing about utilizing a floor feeder, just like the Woodlink Tray above, is that the meals stays brisker longer because it’s not mendacity on the bottom.


#3. Entice MOURNING DOVES by offering water!

attracting mourning doves with water

One other nice solution to get doves to go to your yard is to offer a relentless, constant water supply. Mourning Doves not solely will use it to maintain hydrated but in addition to wash and keep clear.


Doves have a singular approach of ingesting. Most birds will take up one invoice’s value of water at a time, however doves use a suction technique, which permits them to drink a steady stream of water. In beneath 20 seconds, they’ll suck up sufficient water for your entire day!


The easiest way to supply water is to purchase a chook tub (except you’re fortunate sufficient to have a stream or lake in your yard). And when it involves attracting Mourning Doves, it would be best to discover a GROUND BIRD BATH. As we now have already mentioned, these birds really feel most snug on the bottom.


Right here is the bathtub I exploit in my yard for Mourning Doves (and different birds):


Poly Lumber Birdbath

best ground bird baths

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First, I like that this floor tub is produced from recycled poly lumber. This materials is extremely sturdy. I’ve owned this product for just a few years now, and there was no fading, splitting, or cracking of the fabric.


The peak of the bathtub is roughly 6 inches (15 cm) off the bottom, so it’s simply accessible for doves and lots of different animals. Even new child ducklings have been noticed leaping up and going for a swim!


I go away this birdbath in my yard all yr spherical. Through the winter, I place a deicer into the water to stop freezing. For the reason that water is barely 2 inches (5 cm) deep, it freezes extraordinarily quick, as you’ll be able to think about.


Lastly, I wished to say that the plastic pan will not be hooked up to the poly lumber. So this makes cleansing the pan extraordinarily simple! Virtually each time I refill the bathtub with water, I take away the pan and dump out the particles that the birds managed to spill into the water.


#4. Present loads of locations for them to perch.

attract mourning doves with natural food sources

When they aren’t consuming, Mourning Doves like to perch collectively in flocks! Subsequently, the extra perching locations in your yard, the extra probably these birds will dangle round.


The perfect habitat consists of numerous massive timber! In case your yard is an enormous, large discipline, you must think about planting timber. You is likely to be considering that it’s going to take a very long time for that tree to develop tall sufficient to draw roosting Mourning Doves. However as they are saying, one of the best time to plant a tree was 30 years in the past, and the second-best time is right now!


In case you don’t have any timber, I wouldn’t fear an excessive amount of. The Mourning Doves in my yard LOVE perching on the highest of my home. It appears to present them an incredible vantage level to observe the feeders. As well as, it’s additionally widespread to see doves sitting on energy traces.


#5. Place your feeding station close to security!


In comparison with different birds that come to your feeders, Mourning Doves are fairly massive, in order that they make a tasty meal for birds of prey, particularly Cooper’s Hawks. As well as, doves should not as fast to take off as different songbirds, so they have an inclination to get preyed upon extra.


Whereas I do know that predators consuming prey is a part of nature, I don’t need the Mourning Doves in my yard to be sitting geese!


So, I like to recommend inserting your feeding station as shut as doable to shelter and canopy. This offers birds a greater probability to get away and makes them really feel safer, so you’ll appeal to extra birds as effectively. The worst place to place a chook feeder is in the course of a barren, manicured garden!


For instance, beneath is a chook’s eye view of my yard. As you’ll be able to see, my feeding station is positioned alongside the woods. It’s additionally beneath some branches, making it tougher for a hawk to swoop in from above.

best locations for bird feeding station


#6. Panorama your yard with crops that present meals.


The most effective issues you are able to do to draw Mourning Doves is to deal with the habitat in your yard.


Your objective is to plant flowers, shrubs, and timber that present a pure meals supply. And one of the best half is that utilizing a mixture of the next crops not solely will appeal to doves but in addition all kinds of different species!

how to attract mourning doves

One in all my greatest ideas is to let an space of your yard develop wild! All sorts of wildlife will choose this as an alternative of getting a finely manicured garden. In actual fact, one of many WORST issues you are able to do for birds and different creatures is to have a monoculture of grass that is filled with pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizer.


Listed here are some crops that present meals sources for Mourning Doves:


*Please know that the listing beneath is under no circumstances all-inclusive. Together with each flower, shrub, or tree that will appeal to Mourning Doves can be almost inconceivable. However I did my greatest to search out crops that work effectively and are comparatively widespread to search out.*


  • A large assortment of native grasses (Canary, rye, goosegrass)
  • Buckwheat
  • Smartweed
  • Asters
  • Goldenrod
  • Pokeweed
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Sunflowers
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Pine timber (for each pine nuts for meals and nesting areas)
  • Sweetgum timber


How do YOU appeal to Mourning Doves?


Depart a remark beneath!



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