The difference between male and female mourning doves – Baby doves 17 days old – Part 4

11 day old mourning dove in the nest

Now 17 days old.  The mourning dove babies, also called turtle dovesare out of the nest and on their own.  You have journeyed with me and the mourning doves, Jack and Jill, from the egg until today.  Since the day the doves hatched, one was bigger and more alert.  This wide eyed dove is named Jack.  He is a bold, tenacious male mourning dove that was out of the nest in only 11 days, see the photo below.

mourning dove hatchling babies
male & female baby mourning doves – 11 days old

Male mourning doves are bigger than the females.  Jack took his first practice flight to settle on the Mandevilla Trellis.

baby dove just left the nest
our baby mourning dove in the Mandevilla Vine

Jill the female baby dove was smaller and took another 3 days to become strong enough to fly from the nest.  She would perch and at times peek over the nest to watch the activity in the Arizona garden below.

11 day old mourning dove in the nest
baby mourning dove, Jill, in the nest watching her brother

Mom and Dad mourning doves were watchful and on guard in the garden.  Dad did the day shift for the feedings of his baby girl.  Most of the time this little chick was left alone in the nest.   Mom would arrive for the evening to stay in the nest and keep Jill safe through the night.

adult male mourning dove
adult male mourning dove

Males are bigger than females but their color is very similar.  To tell the difference between male and female mourning doves – look at the father in the photo above. Males have a bluish-grey crown; along with a rose color on the breast. Male mourning doves can have an iridescent patch on the neck area also.  Females have a grayish brown crown and a brownish tan breast area.

male and female morning doves
mourning doves showing love

Jill was sitting on the fence by herself and daddy flew over to greet her with a kiss.  This little mourning dove was having a harder time with flying and was so happy to have her dad nearby.

gambel's quail
a gambel’s quail and young mourning dove

Jill is sharing thistle seed with a Gambel’s Quail.  This 17 day old female mourning dove had a harder time getting out of the nest but she is assertive and makes friends easily!

young male mourning dove
young male mourning dove

Jack in the photo above is 17 days old and a king around the neighborhood.  We live in the middle of the southern Arizona desert and I wanted to make sure these young mourning doves had plenty of seed to continually grow strong; therefore I put feeders and seed all over our property!  Jack and Jill share visits with us from sunrise to sunset.

At night the mourning doves find a safe place to roost like a mesquite tree or rooftop and go to sleep.

girl and boy adult mourning dove
difference between male and female mourning doves

Mom and dad (who is the one standing tall), are in the photo above.  This is a perfect picture to see the bluish color on the adult male mourning dove’s head.

I have observed mourning doves everyday for almost 2 months; the more I learn, it is clear that these not-so common mourning doves have their own unique personalities and a true caring for one another.


Author: tjsgarden

We are a family that loves the Arizona Desert. A lot of research and team efforts go into our articles and photos. Come discover the beauty and mystery with us. Don't forget your sunscreen!

16 thoughts on “The difference between male and female mourning doves – Baby doves 17 days old – Part 4”

  1. Thanks for the excellent NSAIDs and pictures. I have mourning doves at my feeder every day. Now I know more about what I have been seeing.


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  3. we have a baby mourning dove that we found under a big oak tree couldn’t see a nest we think the dove is about twelve weeks old but we don’t know if it is a boy or a girl is there any other way to tell?


  4. Last week, I found a baby dove asleep, on his back in the street. Carried it to our safe yard to sleep there. Next morning, he was gone, but I think he visits to eat seed we have out. He’s the only youngster in the bunch. They’re sweet.


  5. Hi,
    i just found a baby dove that fell off the top of the airconditione,r and ther is no way that i can reach it to put it back. (Mounted in the wall under the overhang) They nest there every year and most years i find them on the ground dead. This time i found it today alive. he w as in his nest a couple of days ago. no edging so they fall out.. Now what do i feed it? I’ve done oatmeal with robins until they were able to eat worms.
    NOt sure how old it is , ..a week atleast. Can u help me?
    He’s in a box in the house for the night haven’t seen the mother since i put him in the box outside on the porch. He doesn’t make much noise. I’ll put him back outside tomorrow and see. he’s going to the bathroom so he must of eaten not to long ago and i tried to give him some water with the eye dropper.


  6. I luv’s there names 🙂 they will be leaving soon, won’t they ? I have enjoyed following Jack and Jill with you so much..Thank you for sharing with me 🙂 xx000xx


      1. Our two babies are now about a month old and show no sign of wanting to leave. We have a small atrium with seven foot walls. Momma was coming about once or twice a day to feed them, but has now stopped. They groom each other and stay close to each other. We have seed and water out but they don’t return to the one small tree with nest in it, just stay on the ground. Afraid their wings will atrophy. Should we scare them out? Setting seed and water out doesn’t upset them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The mom stops feeding them to force them to start to fly. We had a similar situation. One of ours started flying first and the other was left alone for about 3 days before it flew. I understand how you feel. Do they stretch their wings and practice flapping them?


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