We have American mourning doves in abundance in Massachusetts. They spend months in our yard, eating seeds both on the ground and in the feeders. They also peck around in my flower garden, so I think they might be eating grubs and insects. We see many of them every day, rain or shine.
I love their plaintive cooing sound. It's hauntingly beautiful. I used to think it was an owl call but know better now.
What's interesting is that the call sounds like it's coming from a distance away. It doesn't sound close enough to be at my feeders. I've never seen a bird using their mouth in such a way as to think I was watching them speak. Even when they're in the tree branch above the feeders, as in my second picture, they look and seem silent. I know it's not because they're nocturnal, as I hear it all day, though sometimes louder towards dusk. I don't think I'm just missing it, as I frequently sit outside with them for hours.
There's a whooshing sound when they rise from the ground, but that comes from the flapping of their wings, and stops when they land.
Do these American mourning doves ever make that lovely cooing sound on the ground, feeder, or anyplace where people can see them? If not, why not?
The first picture is of their favorite feeder, which is on a pole about six feet in the air. Frequently at least four share that eating space, with one or two sitting on top waiting for their turn. The second picture is on a branch beside a rope that leads to a feeder a few feet down. The third is on the roof of my sunroom, where they sip water as it runs down in rivulets after a rain.