Updated at: 05-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

What you must recognize with a bird that has a broad wingspan is that the species aren’t built for bird feeders, hence no feeder at all will be the best course of action.

Because larger birds like doves lack the dexterity to successfully battle hung feeders, bird feeders are the best option for providing Mourning Doves with food. You can keep bird seeds safe when elevated on a wide platform; yet as a ground feeder, Mourning Doves would benefit tremendously if fed on the grass or on bold dirt patches.

Bird Feeder For Doves-2

In the wild, Mourning Doves prefer a diet of grass or weed seeds supplemented with the seeds of the flowers upon which they must perch in order to consume.

Not so with a bird feeder hanging from a pole or limb, which is designed specifically for the tiny birds that frequent your yard. So long as you keep that in mind, it’s perfectly fine to give Mourning Doves only ground food.

One minute we’re seeking ways to keep doves and pigeons off bird feeders, and now we are thinking about the best way to attract doves to our yards to feed them; this isn’t a bad thing as doves must be fed to in order to stay fit and strong.

Never rely on a hanging bird feeder as they’re incompatible with doves, so an open top dish or tray can be suggested.

Doves will come to your yard to forage on seeds from your lawn, and if you scatter bird seeds just below raised feeders – this would be a new cause for doves to visit.

Doves will frequently visit the ground beneath hanging bird feeders in search of the seeds that have fallen to the ground or been thrown by smaller birds.

Doves learn where seeds may be located in a specific area, so you can still throw them over the lawn, but only in a tiny region.

Doves should be fed on the ground or in a ground bird feeder, as larger birds will have difficulty reaching the food.

Fed on 99% of bird seeds

Bird Feeder For Doves

First, you’ll need to know what to feed the mourning doves in your yard on a daily basis before you can get into the nuts and bolts of providing for them.

Important information to remember is that Mourning Doves eat seeds all year round.

In addition to cracked corn and wild areas where farmed grain is taken, these birds eat a variety of other foods. However, none of these foods are typical of what you would find in a wild bird meal mix or in the kitchen.

You must be providing Mourning Doves with seeds, either on the ground or in a more secure bird feeder.

Mourning Doves eat several different kinds of wild bird seeds, including those for grass and weeds. Doves are known to eat flower seeds, and they do it by perching on the flower and scooping them up when they’re ripe.

Wild nut mixtures, such as those containing pine nuts, are comparable to seed mixtures in taste and texture but are rarely consumed.

The greatest approach I’ve found to feed mourning doves is coming up, but for now just know that the bird seed mixture I recommend is all that’s needed.

You won’t find any of the aforementioned species in commercially available wild bird seed; instead, you’ll find anything from sunflower seeds to safflower seeds, and maybe even some broken maize or grain.

Under elevated bird feeders

Ordinary wild bird seeds, the kind you’d put in a clear window seed feeder, can also be used for this purpose, provided you save a handful and toss it on the ground beneath feeders that are hanged from a tree branch or a bird feeder pole.

To be more specific, Mourning Doves, whose wingspan is around 22 inches, aren’t fond of the kind of seed bird feeders designed to be hung, because they’re too little and compact.

Easy to use, hanging bird feeders for smaller birds drive away larger birds like doves, who are a little annoyance but still need to be fed beneath the feeder.

The Mourning Dove and other ground-feeding birds can be fed by simply tossing a handful of seeds over the edge of the branch or onto the ground right below the bird feeder pole.

Whether or not other ground-feeding birds will eat the bird seeds you sprinkle on the lawn is a critical factor in determining how many seeds to disperse.

Doves are often seen foraging on the lawns of suburban yards; placing bird seeds in a contained area of the grass allows the birds to save time and energy.

Hanging bird feeders, platform feeders atop a stand, or mounted feeders all qualify as elevated options. However, mourning doves still prefer to forage on the ground rather than use the feeder.

Bold patches on ground

Bird Feeder For Doves

Mourning Doves prefer to be fed directly under hanging bird feeders because that is where a variety of bird food is most reliably provided.

As soon as doves realize that bird seeds are falling from above, they will immediately head towards the area right under hanging bird feeders.

I’m aware that many of you don’t use hanging bird feeders, so there’s probably no ideal spot to scatter seed in your yard.

Doves won’t bother eating bird seeds if they can’t find them, therefore this is crucial.

If I were a dove, I’d keep scattering seeds over the grass in the spots where they congregate. However, it’s also possible to put a variety of seeds on a clean soil area.

Wild bird seed mixtures with bright colors stand out against a background of brown dirt, making them easier to see from above.

Ideally, you’d pick a spot in the middle of the garden, but a lit-up dirt patch off to the side would work well.

Seed thrown over short grass

You don’t want to squander any of the seeds you throw on the ground, whether they’re sunflower seeds or safflower seeds, so choose a visible spot.

Bird seed that stands out against a dark background, such as dirt, is more likely to be devoured by passing doves.

However, if you sprinkle bird seed over an area that is dominated by long grass, much of it may never be eaten. If you want to help Mourning Doves, one thing you can do is to keep your grass kept short.

Although it isn’t absolutely necessary, the doves who regularly visit your yard will get used to seeing the same spot for the seeds you throw out each day.

Doves will feed on the grass as usual, but they must consume a variety of seeds that they can store in their crop and digest later. This is so they can take off before predators like cats arrive.

If you want to attract mourning doves, whether they prefer long or short grass, you should always toss bird feed in the same position.

Off all bird feeders if possible

Mourning Doves will visit your backyard in search of bird seed, and perhaps some nuts, in the hope of getting a good start on the day’s nutrition.

Doves, like all other common backyard birds, need food to be alive, thus they will do whatever they can to get it.

Despite the fact that Mourning Doves are much too huge to adapt to, let alone use, a seed bird feeder, we should nevertheless encourage them to eat from our feeders whenever possible.

Larger birds can still be fed with an open-topped platform feeder if the feeder is situated in a space free of any barriers.

In spite of this, it is crucial that you continue to offer birdseed (whether it be sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, or low-cost seed mixtures) from difficult-to-reach hanging bird feeders.

Doves will make an attempt to perch, but it’s not something they enjoy doing and it can be dangerous if they fall off.

If you want to attract Mourning Doves, scatter some bird seed on the ground. Alternatively, you can hang the seed from a high perch, such as a deck railing, a tree branch, or a tree trunk.

As Mourning Doves are ground-feeders, the seeds you provide them in your yard are better off on the grass, but you may get more consumption if you put the seeds somewhere more easily accessible, like on a tabletop, rather than in a small, confined bird feeder.


Having bird feeders strung up above the grass is the greatest plan for providing timely and regular sustenance to the mourning doves that visit our yard.

Due of their size and weight, doves have a difficult time using bird feeders designed for smaller birds. They also lack the dexterity required to successfully maneuver a compact little bird feeder designed for smaller birds.

Doves prefer open-topped platform bird feeders over those that must be hung from the ceiling.

A freestanding, open-top platform feeder is ideal, although a mounted feeder is acceptable in a pinch. Since Mourning Doves are naturally ground feeders, a ground bird feeder is the best way to keep feeding time neat and tidy.

Mourning The best way to attract doves is to provide them with seeds by scattering them throughout the lawn or, more specifically, by throwing bird seeds in an area of the yard where doves are reported to loiter the most.

To attract more ground-feeding birds, place the bulk of the wild bird seed blend beneath hanging bird feeders.

Doves rarely make use of feeders, so you shouldn’t bother putting food in one. Instead, scatter seed on the grass, patio, deck, railing, apparent tall tree branches, or dirt areas on the lawn.

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