The Beautiful Flower That Will Entice Mourning Doves To Snack In Your Yard

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The Beautiful Flower That Will Entice Mourning Doves To Snack In Your Yard

Attracting mourning doves to your backyard can add a touch of serenity to your outdoor space. Many people desire to invite these cute cooing creatures to their gardens, and it’s easier than you may think. Creating a welcoming environment is the first step, and planting cosmos flowers can be an effective strategy. Not only do they add beauty to your garden, but they produce seeds that are a great food source for mourning doves. Additionally, cosmos flowers are low maintenance, making them a great choice for gardeners.

Mourning doves are often symbolic and can represent love and fidelity because they have strong pair bonds. They remind some people of departed loved ones, and for others, they are messengers of peace and hope, offering comfort during difficult times. Some see them as signs of protection or guidance. Whether you are drawn to their emblematic meaning or simply their calming presence, mourning doves can bring a sense of peace and reflection to your outdoor space. Planting cosmos is one of the many ways to attract mourning doves to your yard.

Why mourning doves like cosmos

Cosmos flowers

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When it comes to food, mourning doves prefer seed and lots of it, especially when it is on the ground. Unlike other birds who eat insects, their diet is nearly all grain and seeds, though they may chomp on a berry or snail here and there. This makes cosmos ideal for attracting mourning doves, as they produce an abundance of small, black seeds. The biggest draw for mourning doves is that cosmos self-seed.

Cosmos plants are colorful annuals that have flowers that look like daisies. They bloom in white, pink, red, orange, maroon, and yellow, and they can grow to be 6 feet tall. Their foliage lasts from summer to fall. There isn’t much you need to do to care for cosmos flowers since they just need full sun and well-drained soil. They are also drought-tolerant and attract pollinators including butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. With their bright colors, they’re visually appealing, which also helps attract birds. Aim to plant a mix of colors to draw doves to your garden.

Other ways to attract mourning doves to your yard

Birdbath fountain

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After you’ve planted cosmos, there are a few other ways to turn your yard into a haven for mourning doves. First, start by providing a shallow bird bath or water fountain for refreshment. Then you can plant shrubs or small trees for extra shelter and nesting grounds. Besides eating the seeds from cosmos, you can diversify the doves’ menu with other seed-producing plants like coneflowers and sunflowers.

Another great way to attract mourning doves to your yard is to get a platform feeder filled with safflower seeds, white millet, and cracked corn. Place the feeders in an open area to keep the birds safe from predators while they eat. Squirrels tend to avoid safflower seeds, so that leaves more food for mourning doves. Consider supplementing the seeds with other dove-friendly options like milo, wheat, or seed mixes containing these options. Finally, try to leave small piles of either fallen leaves or twigs to supply the doves with readily available nesting material.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.