US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Sanders, T. A., and K. Parker. 2010. Mourning dove population status, 2010. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management, Washington, D.C.


This report summarizes information on abundance and harvest of mourning doves collected annually in the United States. For abundance, we report primarily on trends in the number of doves heard per route from the Mourning Dove Call-count Survey (CCS), but also include trends in doves seen per route from the CCS and birds heard and seen per route from the all-bird Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). Harvest and hunter participation are estimated from the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP). The CCS-heard data provided evidence that abundance of doves decreased in all three dove management units (Eastern [EMU], Central [CMU], and Western [WMU]) during the long term (1966–2010); within the EMU, however, there is evidence that abundance decreased in hunt states but increased in nonhunt states. In the recent 10 and 2 years, the EMU was the only unit that had evidence of a change in dove abundance; there, it increased in the recent 10 years. Also there was evidence that abundance increased in EMU nonhunt states, but no evidence of change in the EMU hunt states for the same period. Over the long term, trends in CCS-heard and CCS-seen data were consistent in the WMU, but inconsistent in the EMU and CMU; here there is evidence that trends in CCS-seen were stable in the CMU and increased in the EMU. BBS data provided evidence that the abundance of doves over the long term increased in the EMU and decreased in the CMU and WMU. Thus, over the long term, the three data sets provided consistent results only in the WMU. In the CMU, CCS-seen is somewhat inconsistent with CCS-heard and BBS, and in the EMU, CCS-heard are opposite CCS-seen and BBS. Current (2009) HIP estimates for total harvest, active hunters, and total days afield in the U.S. were 17,354,800 ± 531,269 (estimate ± SE) birds, 974,400 hunters, and 2,987,400 ± 60,967 days afield. Harvest and hunter participation and the unit level were: EMU, 7,639,200 ± 272,829 birds, 437,600 hunters, and 1,245,700 ± 38,134 days afield; CMU, 7,474,600 ± 457,629 birds, 393,400 hunters, and 1,312,700 ± 53,580 days afield; and WMU, 2,241,000 ± 91,469 birds, 143,400 hunters, and 429,000 ± 15,321 days afield.