Yes, today's photo is what many would consider just a lowly mourning dove. However, this may be the first mourning dove to ever visit my feeders. I see the birds regularly in the open areas of Roundtop Mountain, but if I've ever had one at my feeders before, I can't remember it.
So why is this one (and three of its best friends) here now? That's what I wondered, too, but I think I have an answer. Larry, my neighbor down the mountain, has taken the reins of the snowplowing duty for our common lane. Larry believes in plowing the snow right down to the ground, unlike some of the other plowboys. And, since our lane is dirt, that soon leaves open ground. And the doves, along with many other birds, are venturing into the woods to get at the grit in the dirt. Everywhere else is still snow-covered or paved, so open dirt is in short supply at the moment.
I don't consider mourning doves to be the brightest bulbs in the birdy world, but now that the doves are venturing into the woods for the grit, they have at least been smart enough to locate the feeders at the back of the cabin. So for me, having a mourning dove at the feeders is pretty unusual. I wish I could tell you what they were eating, since my feeders are nothing but suet, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, thistle and assorted nuts, mostly peanuts. There's no corn in there, but the doves were happily ingesting something.
Note: Days 5-8 of my 30-day Sit Spot challenge are now posted here.