The mourning dove is the national animal of British Virgin Islands. It is a slender-tailed and small-headed dove which likes staying on telephone lines. British Virgin Islands’ national animal belongs to the dove family, Columbidae. This dove has other names such as American mourning dove or the rain dove. British Virgin Islands’ national bird has an excellent breeding capacity with up to six broods of two young doves each in one year. This has helped them to sustain their high population even under pressure of hunting by human beings.
These doves are mostly found in open and semi-open areas like farms, grasslands and wooded areas. Human activities hardly affect their way of living as they are able to quickly adapt to any changes caused by human activities. Other than the British Virgin Islands, the mourning dove can also be found in Canada and Mexico. IUCN estimated the total of mourning doves to be around 120 million in 2015 (IUCN, 2015). Its delicious meat might inform the choice of declaring it the national animal of British Virgin Islands.
Facts about the national animal of British Virgin Islands (Mourning Dove)
- Common name: mourning dove
- Scientific name: Zenaida auriculataa
- Average weight: male- 96-170g; female- 56-185g
- Habitat: open and semi-open areas
- Diet: cereals
- Clutch size: 2 eggs
- Incubation period: 14 days
- Egg description: unmarked, white
- Average length: 31cm
The national bird of British Virgin Islands is light gray- brown in color, with a slender tail and small head. It has short, red colored legs with a short and dark beak. It also has a unique crescent-shaped feather below its eye. Perhaps it is the beauty of this bird that made it to be considered the national animal symbol of British Virgin Islands.
The distinctive features of the mourning bird, ranging from its beauty to the way they can easily adapt to changes in their environment has qualified the bird as the national animal of British Virgin Islands.
- “The mourning dove” -Wikipedia
- “Bird guide- mourning dove”- All about birds
- “Mourning doves in Florida”- University of Florida IFAS Extension.