... Mourning dove parents one of few birds that feed offspring 'milk' Symbol of peace, a mourning dove perches on barbed wire. Symbol of peace, a mourning dove perches on barbed wire. It takes all kinds. That all-kindliness brings variety into the world. Some are brilliant, like orioles. Some are loud, like mockingbirds; or sing melodically, like finches, or raucously, like jays. Some just dignify life with a humble beauty and gentility. Consider mourning doves. They don’t sparkle with rainbow colors. They dress in a soft gray-brown, adorned by just a few black dots and dashes, and, for the careful observer, tinges of peach and blue. Nor do they flutter fancy plumes. Their feathers are smooth, gently layered from head to tip of tail, unruffled. In flight their tails fan white edges. At take-off their wings whistle against the wind, an unvoiced call to their mates and perhaps a distraction to predators. But they flaunt no fancy flags. Nor do mourning doves shout for attention. They just coo a mellow refrain, the sorrowful song that gives them their name. Listen to that song: it's apparent sadness sounds not so much like a complaint as an homage to beauty.