Why Are Doves Hanging Around My House?

If you’re wondering why doves are hanging around your house, you’re not alone. Doves are common backyard birds that can often be found in residential areas. These birds are peaceful and beautiful, but their presence may raise questions about why they choose to stick around.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why doves might be hanging around your house, including their habits, behaviour, preferences and spiritual meanings. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of why these birds are attracted to your property and what it may mean.

five white pigeons on roof

Understanding Doves

Doves are members of the pigeon family, and they are found all over the world. They are known for their cooing sound, which is a soothing and relaxing noise that can be heard from far away. Doves are small to medium-sized birds that come in various colours, including white, grey, and brown.

Doves are typically monogamous, meaning they mate for life, and they are known for their loyalty to their partners. They build their nests in trees or on man-made structures such as buildings, bridges, or power lines. Doves feed on a variety of seeds and grains, and they are also attracted to bird feeders.

Why Are Doves Hanging Around Your House?

Now that you have a better understanding of doves let’s explore why they might be hanging around your house. Here are some possible reasons:

  1. Food

Doves are attracted to food sources, and they may be hanging around your house because you have bird feeders or other food sources available. Doves feed on seeds and grains, and they are known to be frequent visitors to bird feeders. If you have a bird feeder in your yard, it’s likely that the doves are visiting to feed.

  1. Water

Doves also need water to survive, and they may be attracted to your property if you have a water source available. This could include a bird bath, fountain, or even a swimming pool. If you have a water source on your property, it’s possible that doves are visiting to drink or bathe.

  1. Shelter

Doves need shelter to protect themselves from the elements and predators, and they may be attracted to your property if you have structures that provide shelter. This could include trees, bushes, or even the eaves of your house. If you have a lot of trees or other vegetation on your property, it’s possible that doves are using your property for shelter.

  1. Nesting

Doves build their nests in trees or on man-made structures, and they may be attracted to your property if you have suitable nesting sites available. This could include trees, bushes, or even the eaves of your house. If you have structures on your property that provide suitable nesting sites, it’s possible that doves are hanging around to build their nests.

  1. Mating

As mentioned earlier, doves are monogamous and mate for life. They may be hanging around your property if they are looking for a mate or have already found a mate and are building their nest. If you notice two doves together in your yard, it’s likely that they are a mated pair.

Are Mourning Doves A Good Spiritual Sign?

Mourning doves, with their soft, haunting calls, have often been associated with spiritual aspects in various cultures. Known scientifically as Zenaida macroura, these birds are not only a symbol of peace and purity but also carry a deeper spiritual significance.

Symbolism in Native American Culture

In Native American lore, the mourning dove holds a place of great respect. A Huron/Wyandot legend speaks of a maiden named Ayu’ra who was dearly loved by the doves. Upon her death, the doves attempted to follow her spirit to the Underworld, only to be denied entry. The smoke that was used to blind them and separate them from Ayu’ra stained their feathers gray, and since then, they have mourned for the maiden’s loss. This story reflects the mourning dove’s symbolism of loss, mourning, and the journey of the soul, suggesting that their presence could be a reminder of the eternal connection between the physical and spiritual worlds.

Mourning Doves as Messengers

The plaintive cooing of the mourning dove is often perceived as a lament, hence their name. However, this sound can also be comforting, reminding us of the presence of spirits that are at peace. The appearance of mourning doves around one’s home could be interpreted as a good spiritual sign, indicating messages from the spirit world or the presence of a guardian spirit.

Reflections of Resilience and Hope

Despite their somber name, mourning doves are prolific breeders and have shown remarkable resilience in the face of hunting and environmental changes. This ability to thrive under pressure symbolizes hope and the continuity of life, suggesting that even through periods of mourning or loss, there is the potential for new beginnings and growth.

How to deal with doves around your house

Doves can be a pleasant sight, but they can also cause damage to your property and become a nuisance if they start nesting and leaving droppings around your house. Here are some ways to deal with doves around your house:


One of the easiest ways to deal with white dove birds is prevention. By making your property less appealing to them, you can discourage them from hanging around your house.

  1. Cover food sources: Doves are attracted to food sources like bird feeders, outdoor pet food bowls, and garbage cans. Covering these sources or moving them indoors can help reduce dove activity.
  2. Deter nesting: Doves prefer nesting in areas with ledges, overhangs, and eaves. By blocking off these areas with netting or wire mesh, you can prevent doves from nesting around your house.


If prevention doesn’t work, you can try using repellents to deter doves from your property.

  1. Natural repellents: Some natural repellents that can be used to deter doves include essential oils, such as peppermint or eucalyptus, or predator urine, such as fox or coyote urine.
  2. Commercial repellents: There are also commercial bird repellent sprays and devices available on the market that can help deter doves from your property.


If all else fails, you may need to remove doves from your property. However, it’s important to do so safely and humanely.

  1. When to remove doves: Doves are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which means it’s illegal to harm or kill them without a permit. However, if doves are causing damage to your property or posing a health risk, you can contact a wildlife removal professional or your local animal control agency for assistance.
  2. How to safely remove doves: If you need to remove doves from your property, it’s important to do so safely and humanely. You can use live traps or exclusion devices, but it’s best to leave this to professionals who are trained in wildlife removal.

Remember, prevention is always the best option when it comes to dealing with doves around your house. By making your property less appealing to them, you can reduce the likelihood of them causing damage or becoming a nuisance.

Potential Issues Of Doves Hanging Around Your House

While having doves around your home can bring many benefits, there are also potential issues that may arise. Here are some common concerns and how to address them:

Property Damage: Doves can cause damage to property by building nests in inconvenient or unsafe locations, or by leaving droppings on surfaces. To address this issue, you can install nesting platforms or birdhouses in safe and appropriate locations, or use bird netting or spikes to discourage doves from perching or nesting in unwanted areas. You can also clean up droppings regularly to prevent staining or damage to surfaces.

Health Concerns: Doves can carry diseases like salmonella and avian pox, which can be transmitted to humans or other animals. To minimize the risk of infection, it’s important to avoid handling doves or their droppings without proper protective equipment, and to wash your hands thoroughly after any contact with birds or their waste. You can also discourage doves from congregating in areas where people or pets are likely to come into contact with them.

Noise and Disruption: Doves are generally quiet birds, but their cooing can sometimes be loud or persistent. If their noise becomes a disturbance, you can try using sound barriers or white noise machines to muffle their calls. It’s important to note, however, that doves are protected under federal law and cannot be harmed or disturbed without a permit.

Overall, addressing potential issues related to doves around your home requires a balance between providing a welcoming environment for the birds and mitigating any negative impacts on property or health. By taking steps to discourage unwanted behaviour and protect yourself and your property, you can enjoy the benefits of having doves around while minimizing any potential issues.

Creating a Dove-Friendly Environment

If you enjoy having doves around your house, there are several things you can do to create a welcoming environment for them. For example, you can provide food and water sources that are specifically tailored to doves, such as a ground feeder or a shallow bird bath. You can also plant native vegetation that provides shelter and nesting sites for doves. By creating a dove-friendly environment, you can encourage these birds to stick around and thrive on your property.

How to Identify Dove Nests and Eggs

Dove nests are typically simple structures made of twigs and grasses that are constructed in trees, shrubs, or on building ledges. They are usually flimsy and loosely woven.

To identify a dove nest, look for a small platform-like structure with a shallow depression in the center. They can be found in trees, shrubs, or on man-made structures like buildings, bridges, and power poles.

Dove eggs are typically small and white, about the size of a small marble. They may have a slight glossiness to them. The eggs are usually laid in the center of the nest and can be difficult to see from the ground.

When searching for a dove nest, look for a bird that is repeatedly flying to and from a particular location, carrying nesting materials or food. Once you’ve located the nest, be careful not to disturb it, as this can cause the parent doves to abandon their eggs or chicks.

Mourning Dove Symbolism

In many cultures, mourning doves are associated with symbols of peace, love, and gentleness. They are often seen as messengers of hope and healing, and their gentle cooing is said to have a calming effect on the mind and spirit.

In Native American cultures, mourning doves are seen as symbols of renewal and resurrection, as they are believed to bring a message of hope and new beginnings. In Christian tradition, the mourning dove is often associated with the Holy Spirit and is said to represent purity, innocence, and peace.

If mourning doves are hanging around your house, it could be seen as a positive omen or a sign of good fortune. It may indicate that peace and harmony are present in your home, or that you are entering a period of renewal and growth.

In some cases, mourning doves may also be attracted to your property because of the presence of food or water sources, such as bird feeders or fountains. If this is the case, it is important to ensure that you are providing these resources in a safe and responsible way, and that you are not inadvertently causing harm to the birds or disrupting their natural habitat.

Overall, the symbolism around mourning doves is generally positive and uplifting, and their presence can be seen as a reminder to embrace peace, love, and hope in our lives.

Types of Doves

Doves, belonging to the family Columbidae, are a symbol of peace and purity in various cultures. This family includes a wide array of species, each with its unique characteristics and symbolism. Here, we delve into the meanings associated with three specific types of doves: the white dove, the gray dove, and the turtle dove.

What Does a White Dove Symbolize?

The white dove is perhaps the most recognized symbol of peace, love, and faithfulness. Often used in religious and spiritual contexts, the white dove represents the Holy Spirit in Christianity. It is also a universal sign of hope and freedom, frequently released during significant ceremonies and events to convey a message of harmony and new beginnings.

What Does a Gray Dove Symbolize?

Gray doves are less commonly discussed in symbolic terms, but they are no less significant. Typically, a gray dove may represent neutrality and balance, reflecting its calm and unassuming presence. It can also symbolize resilience and adaptability, as many gray dove species thrive in a variety of habitats around the world.

What Does a Turtle Dove Symbolize?

The turtle dove, with its gentle cooing, is often associated with love, devotion, and fidelity. Referenced in literature and music, including the famous Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” turtle doves are considered emblems of true love and are believed to mate for life. Their symbolism is deeply rooted in the idea of an enduring bond between partners.

Dove Symbolization in Various Contexts

Doves have been revered throughout history and across cultures, not just for their beauty but for the rich symbolism they carry. In art, literature, and religion, doves have been used to represent a variety of virtues and messages.

In Christianity, the dove is an important symbol of the Holy Spirit and is a representation of purity, peace, and new beginnings, as seen in the story of Noah’s Ark. In literature, doves are often used to symbolize the innocence of a character or the peace that comes after conflict. In peace movements, the dove is a universal symbol that transcends language and culture, conveying a message of hope and reconciliation.

The symbolism of doves is as diverse as the species themselves, each carrying its own unique message and significance. Whether it’s the pure white dove, the resilient gray dove, or the devoted turtle dove, these creatures continue to inspire and remind us of the higher ideals we strive for in our lives.

Adam Docherty

Hi I'm Adam. At Pet Know How we aim to help you learn everything you need to about your pets.

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