Are mourning doves stupid?

Or do they just have slow reflexes? I go outside and there’s a bunch of birds everywhere. Right as a I get outside, all the finches and chickadees and grackles fly away. But the doves remain until I get a few steps closer, then they fly away.

Same thing when I’m driving. Little birds fly away from a distance, while you can almost drive next to a mourning dove before it finally flies away.

Why do the doves not fly away as quickly as other birds? Are they not as intelligent as the others?

they are bird brains.

some wild turkeys will almost be your hood ornament before they fly away. i’ve never got a turkey that way.

crows the same.

Some birds just are not as afraid of humans. Least Sandpipers will practically run over your foot when they are feeding. Other birds like some bitterns will freeze or flee the moment they see one of us.

And frankly, why should they fly away? You’ll notice pretty much all birds take less notice of you than they do of a cat or a dog. What are you gonna do, catch a dove with your bare hands?

It’s a heavy bodied bird that feeds primarily on the ground, so it’s got a good reason to be down there frequently. Doves fly like the wind, but take-offs are harder for heavier birds like doves, pigeons, owls, and hawks than they are for more streamlined birds.

What they are is amorous and prolific, which is a good thing because they build some pretty sloppy, vulnerable nests.

Wild turkeys and crows are among the most intelligent of birds. They are smart enough to know just how stupid humans can be and they take advantage of it.

Ground-feeding birds like doves often freeze first if they sense something is wrong, since immediately flying away does draw attention to your presence even if you are fleeing the scene. By holding very still, their camoflauge often protects them.

Crows, sure. But wild turkeys? I’ve encountered them many times on my walks. They are not terribly smart birds. The males will attack anything that comes into their territory during mating season, but that’s not so much an act of intelligence, especially when the intruding object is a car driving past.

Try dove hunting. They’re very wily. The city ones just grow tamer. Just like their very close cousins, the common (rock) pigeon.

Turkeys are stupid-smart. Also very wary of people and hard to get near, but have evidence of stupidity. Cecil’s take. Also, they are probably the “highest” animals to go through parthenogenesis (rarely), which doesn’t give me much hope in their level of sophistication.

Most corvids are wicked smart.

I’ve hit a bird with the front of my car once in my life. It was a crow.

I’m no ornithologist, but the mourning doves I’ve encountered (in city / suburban life) seemed to have been pretty thick.

Several years ago, we had a pair which were trying to nest and have a clutch of eggs on our porch. Despite the regular comings-and-goings of people (and a dog), two feet from their chosen location, it took them three weeks to give up and move away. Daft things didn’t even try to build a nest; the female simply laid her eggs in a box of garbage bags which was sitting on a shelf.

They’re not stupid, just sad.

I did that last Thursday. I think it was a robin. What a way to wake up.

Oh, and generally speaking, stupid != not adapted to life in an environment that’s not their native one. Like a city. Animal behavior is well suited for the thinks they are meant to do, but that means that squirrels don’t know how to deal with cars.

Be that as it may, corvids are among the most intelligent animals in nature, certainly among non-mammals. Way smarter than any other birds except maybe parrots.

Octopodes are surprisingly intelligent too. If they had ever evolved to live on land we might have been in trouble. :smiley:

Beware the walktopus!

I learned something today!

Dove are certainly quick to adapt. The opening day of dove season, they’ll fly quite close to hunters much to their own peril. By the third or fourth day, they probably won’t come with 100 yards of one.

And they build them in stupid places.

I used to work in building maintenance and every spring the filters on our cooling tower would clog with the remains of baby mourning doves from a mother dove too stupid to realize that every spring all of her babies died when she built her nest inside of it.

And that was the Crow Darwin Award winner, proving the corvids-are-smart crowd is right.

Once a pigeon took some twigs, put them into my stove, and laid a single solitary egg.

I was living on the Upper East Side in an old tenement building and I had gone away for the weekend. I wimped out and called animal control (city boy here) to remove pigeon.

I felt bad for the bird. Can’t remember what I did with the egg.

Why would it lay just one?