During 5 years, 1964 thru 1968, of bait-trapping and banding of mourning doves, Zenaidura macroura, in the Ruthven area of Iowa, significant data have been compiled on the homing instinct and longevity of this bird. During this 5-year period 1,546 doves were banded. Recaptures of doves banded in previous years included 15 in 1966 and reached a high of 55 birds in 1968. Doves banded as close as the Ingham-High Game Unit, only 20 miles northeast, were not recaptured at Ruthven during the last 3 years of the study. Four birds banded in 1964 have been retaken each year. These four birds were banded as adults in 1964, therefore reaching an age of at least 5 years. Several birds were recaptured year after year following initial capture. This study indicates an instinct for the mourning dove to return to the area where hatched. Also, some doves in some areas may be longer-lived than generally thought.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1969 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
"Some Observations on the Homing Instinct of the Mourning Dove,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 76(1), 241-244.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol76/iss1/35