These two Turtle Doves or Mourning Doves are frequent visitors to our backyard. In this photo they are carefully perched on a small feeder. It’s quite an acrobatic performance to get them both balanced at the same time. Mourning doves are one of the most abundant birds in North America. Although not a popular past-time in Canada, more that 20 million are shot each year for sport and food. Their roles are clearly defined, the male is the hunter-gatherer and the female is the homemaker, literally. The male will gather sticks and debris and while standing on the female’s back, pass them to her while she constructs the their nest. The couple are monogamous, usually staying together their whole life – novel idea these days. She will usually raise two young twice a year. Another unique characteristic is the whistling sound their wings make when they take off and land. Two turtles doves, a nice Christmas gift.