Regional Offices > Cody Region > Cody Region News > Banding mourning doves

Banding mourning doves

July 31, 2018
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Cody - Each year, Game and Fish captures and bands mourning doves as part of a larger effort to estimate population size and other metrics of this migratory game bird.  Each state has a banding quota to meet, and the Cody Regional Game and Fish office is one of ten locations banding doves in Wyoming this year attempting to reach our quota of 393. 

Migratory Bird Biologist Nate Huck said Game and Fish bands doves for a few reasons. “First and foremost, dove banding is currently the only way that we estimate dove populations in the state,” Huck said.  “We also use it to look at various metrics such as harvest rates and survival rates.”

Doves are captured when they walk into a live trap baited with millet.  Each captured dove receives a metal band with a unique identifying number on it that is fastened around their leg.  Biologists also record the sex and determine if the dove is a juvenile or adult.   If the bird is retrapped or harvested, the number on the leg band can be entered into a website which logs the information on individuals that have been previously banded.   If you harvest or find a banded bird, please report it at 

To date, 30 doves have been captured, banded and released at this capture site.

Did you know?

  • The mourning dove is the most harvested game bird with nearly 20 million harvested each year. 
  • The oldest known mourning dove was a male and at least 30 years old when he was harvested in Florida in 1998. He had been banded in Georgia in 1968.
  • Doves in Wyoming might have as many as four broods each year.

- WGFD -

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