The Mourning Dove is one of the most common birds seen across the United States (coming in second to the Northern Cardinal according to this year's Great Backyard Bird Count).
I think many might agree that the word "common", when applied to the Mourning Dove, fits the bird in multiple ways:
- Widespread; prevalent
- Not distinguished by superior or noteworthy characteristics; average
- Of no special quality; standard
- Unrefined or coarse in manner; vulgar
Mourning Doves, fluffed out during preening
In the midst of preening
Being polite and keeping its feet OUT of the food supply...
Zoomed in on the plumage (this would have been a good Plume Zoom subject!)
Ice/snow accumulation on tail
Such ice/snow accumulation can cause Mourning Dove tail feathers to be pulled out if they get stuck to a branch (thanks to Julie Zickefoose for this information and feather ID).
Unfortunately, I can't do much to defend that last definition of "common" when applied to the Dove ("Unrefined or coarse in manner; vulgar"). I mean, c'mon, a bird that poops that much and leaves his poop right in among the seed and the bird bath? There's no defending that. Good thing they're pretty...!
This is my first submission to Bird Photography Weekly, hosted every Monday over on Birdfreak's site. Go check it out and see who else is showing off their birds.
By the way, what bird do YOU find to be beautiful?