The Beautiful Flower That Will Entice Mourning Doves To Snack In Your Yard

Mourning doves add a touch of serenity to any backyard, and many people seek to find the right way to attract these cute cooing creatures to their gardens. Luckily, it may be easier than you think, and creating a welcoming environment is the first step. Planting cosmos flowers can be an effective strategy thanks to the seeds they produce for doves (and they're low maintenance for gardeners too).

While some find joy in the calming presence of mourning doves in their yards, others seek them for deeper meaning. These birds are often symbolic and can represent love and fidelity because they have strong pair bonds, reminding some of departed loved ones. Some see them as messengers of peace and hope, offering comfort during hard times. For others, they are signs of protection or guidance. Whether drawn to their emblematic meaning or simply their calming presence, mourning doves can bring a sense of peace and reflection, and planting cosmos is one of the ways to attract mourning doves to your yard.

Why mourning doves like cosmos

When it comes to food, mourning doves prefer seed and lots of it, especially when it is on the ground. Unlike other birds who eat insects, their diet is nearly all grain and seeds, though they may chomp on a berry or snail here and there. This makes cosmos ideal for attracting mourning doves, as they produce an abundance of small, black seeds. The biggest draw for mourning doves is that cosmos self-seed.

Cosmos plants are colorful annuals that have flowers that look like daisies. They bloom in white, pink, red, orange, maroon, and yellow, and they can grow to be 6 feet tall. Their foliage lasts from summer to fall. There isn't much you need to do to care for cosmos flowers since they just need full sun and well-drained soil. They are also drought-tolerant and attract pollinators including butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. With their bright colors, they're visually appealing, which also helps attract birds. Aim to plant a mix of colors to draw doves to your garden.

Other ways to attract mourning doves to your yard

After you've planted cosmos, there are a few other ways to turn your yard into a haven for mourning doves. First, start by providing a shallow bird bath or water fountain for refreshment. Then you can plant shrubs or small trees for extra shelter and nesting grounds. Besides eating the seeds from cosmos, you can diversify the doves' menu with other seed-producing plants like coneflowers and sunflowers.

Another great way to attract mourning doves to your yard is to get a platform feeder filled with safflower seeds, white millet, and cracked corn. Place the feeders in an open area to keep the birds safe from predators while they eat. Squirrels tend to avoid safflower seeds, so that leaves more food for mourning doves. Consider supplementing the seeds with other dove-friendly options like milo, wheat, or seed mixes containing these options. Finally, try to leave small piles of either fallen leaves or twigs to supply the doves with readily available nesting material.