Mourning Dove Calls (3 sounds w/ AUDIO)

Below, you are going to learn how to identify the CALLS, COOS, and WING WHISTLES of a Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura).

mourning dove calls, coos, sounds, wing whistles

Mourning Doves are widespread and found throughout most of North America! Look for them singing high up in trees, on your roof, or on a telephone wire near your home.


Mourning Dove Calls:

  • Make sure to press PLAY on the audio files below. 🙂


Sound #1: “coo-ah, coo-coo-coo”

The easiest Mourning Dove sound to identify is a song given by males trying to attract a mate. Listen for a low “coo-ah, coo-coo-coo.”

Many people describe this song as hauntful or sad. In fact, the Mourning Dove got its name because its call is so mournful.

It’s easy to confuse this sound with an owl’s hooting. I know I did at first!


Sound #2: “coo-OO-oo”

The second sound you will hear from a Mourning Dove is produced by males. It’s given while nest building or when trying to attract their female to the nest site. Listen for a three-part call that sounds like “coo-OO-oo,” with the middle note being the highest.


Sound #3: The wing whistle

When they take off or land, Mourning Doves make a loud whistling noise. Believe it or not, but the sound comes from their wings! It’s thought that these wing whistles help warn other doves to the presence of a predator.


Watch the short video below for more examples of calls and sounds from a Mourning Dove.