Today I am sharing photographs of a couple of beautiful young mourning doves along the auto tour gravel road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. It’s the end of August right now, and I’ve noticed that most of the mourning doves I encounter at the refuge this time of year can be found resting and walking along the gravel road.
These ground-dwelling birds likely enjoy the gravel because it’s an open, elevated area that gives them a good vantage point to spot potential predators. The gravel also probably retains some warmth from the sun, making it an attractive place for the doves to rest. The road also offers bare ground perfect for taking dust baths to clean their feathers.
While I enjoy seeing the doves, I’m always cautious driving down the road as I’m worried one might suddenly take flight and fly right into my truck. Thankfully that hasn’t happened yet. I was able to park right next to both doves and snap some photos without disturbing them too much. I was really struck by how calm and docile these young doves were, allowing me to get remarkably close.
Getting close-up shots of birds in their natural habitats is such a thrill as a wildlife photographer. I feel grateful to have captured these images to share the natural beauty of these mourning doves with others. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more interesting bird subjects along the refuge’s gravel road. Just as long as they don’t fly too close to my truck!
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: August 15, 2023 (06:36 A. M.)
- Program Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f8
- Shutter speed: 1/125
- ISO: 10000 (Auto)
- Exp. Comp.: +0.3
- Focal Length: 500 mm