You can learn more about Midtown mourning doves at banding event

Photo courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

They coo, mate often and for life, and get play in country songs under the name turtle doves.

Mourning doves are common in Midtown, but if you want to get to know them better, now is your chance.

People can take hour-long shifts watching biologists band the birds at James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife area in Lee’s Summit.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is offering the program from Aug. 12 to Aug. 16.

Biologists band birds to study population numbers and movements. The mourning dove is the most popular game bird to hunt in the United States.

Biologists bait ground traps with grain and then remove the doves, put a leg band on them and release them.

When people, often hunters, recover bands from the birds they call a telephone number on the band and the information is recorded at the American Bird Banding Laboratory, the national bird banding program managed by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Doves are capable of long travels, biologists say, and birds banded at Reed have been found in Idaho, Ohio, Florida and Mexico.

The common bird that lays eggs up to six times a year has had a historical brush with royalty, according to Chipper Woods Bird Observatory.

The genus name for its group of doves, Zenaida, was given it in 1838 by Charles L. Bonaparte, who named it after his princess wife, Zenaide Charlotte Julie Bonaparte.

Charles Bonaparte, a noted zoologist, was the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Anyone wanting to participate in the bird banding must register in advance by calling 816-622-0900.

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