American Raptor Size of Mourning Dove: Facts & Insights

Explore the fascinating world of the American Raptor, similar in size to the mourning dove. Discover intriguing facts and insights about this unique bird species.

American Raptor Size of Mourning Dove: American raptors are unique bird species that share a surprising similarity in size with the mourning dove. These birds of prey are known for their sharp talons, keen eyesight, and hunting abilities. In this article, we’ll explore the size, physical characteristics, and behavior of American raptors in comparison to mourning doves.

Key Takeaways:

  • American raptors are birds of prey known for their hunting abilities and sharp talons.
  • Some American raptor species share a similar size with mourning doves.
  • This article will provide insights and facts about American raptors and their comparison to mourning doves.

Understanding American Raptors

American raptors are a group of birds of prey that live and hunt in North, Central, and South America. There are many different species of American raptors, each with unique characteristics and adaptations that help them thrive in their environments. Raptors are powerful birds that are often at the top of the food chain, feeding on a variety of prey.

Some common American raptors include hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls, and they range in size from the tiny Elf Owl at 5 inches in length to the massive Harpy Eagle, which can reach over 3 feet in length with a wingspan of over 6 feet.

Types of American Raptors

American raptors can be categorized into several groups based on their physical characteristics and hunting behaviors. Some of the most common groups include:

  • Buteos – large raptors with broad wings and short tails, often seen soaring in wide circles
  • Accipiters – smaller raptors with long tails and short, rounded wings, often seen swiftly chasing other birds in flight
  • Falcons – medium-sized raptors with long, pointed wings and sharp beaks, known for their incredible speed and aerial agility
  • Owls – nocturnal raptors with large eyes and silent flight, often seen perched in trees during the day

American raptors are an important part of the ecosystem, playing a vital role in controlling populations of smaller animals like rodents and insects. They are also a popular subject for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts, who are drawn to their beauty and power.

The Mourning Dove: A Common Reference Point

The mourning dove serves as a commonly used point of reference for comparing the size of American raptors. This small bird is a member of the dove family and is found throughout the United States and Canada. It is easily identifiable by its slender build, small head, and long, pointed tail.

The average size of a mourning dove is around 12 inches long, with a wingspan of up to 18 inches. They weigh around 4-6 ounces, making them a lightweight bird species. The male and female mourning doves are similar in size and appearance, with the male being slightly larger.

Size Comparison: American Raptors vs. Mourning Dove

One of the most interesting things about American raptors is their similarity in size to the mourning dove. While raptors are typically known for their large size and impressive wingspan, their dimensions are not significantly different from those of mourning doves.

According to the North American Birds of Prey, the average body length of a red-tailed hawk, one of the most common American raptors, is about 19 inches. In comparison, the mourning dove averages about 12 inches in body length, making the hawk only 7 inches longer. The wingspan of a red-tailed hawk is about 56 inches, while the wingspan of a mourning dove is about 17 inches.

While these dimensions may seem vastly different at first, it’s important to note that the size of a raptor can vary greatly depending on the species. For example, a bald eagle, another common American raptor, has a wingspan of around 80 inches, making it more than four times larger than a mourning dove. Conversely, a sharp-shinned hawk, another raptor species, is only about 10 inches in body length, making it smaller than a mourning dove.

Despite their varying sizes, all American raptors share the same hunting abilities and predatory nature. Whether they are small or large, they are all top predators in the sky and essential to maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.

Size Comparison: American Raptors vs. Mourning Dove

The table below provides a visual representation of the size comparison between American raptors and mourning doves.

Raptor SpeciesAverage Body Length (inches)Wingspan (inches)
Red-tailed Hawk1956
Bald Eagle3480
Sharp-shinned Hawk1024
Mourning Dove1217

Raptor Diversity: Size, Wingspan, and Weight

American raptors come in a variety of sizes, ranging from the tiny Elf Owl, which is around 5 inches long and weighs only 1-2 ounces, to the massive California Condor, which can be over 4 feet long and weigh up to 26 pounds. The Bald Eagle, perhaps one of the most well-known raptors, has a length of up to 3 feet and a wingspan of up to 7 feet.

While size varies greatly among raptor species, so does wingspan and weight. The wingspan of a Cooper’s Hawk is around 2.5 feet, while that of a Golden Eagle can reach up to 7 feet. Weight also varies significantly, with the smallest raptors weighing just a few ounces and the largest weighing over 20 pounds.

The size, wingspan, and weight of a raptor often reflect its hunting habits and adaptations to its environment. Smaller raptors, like the Sharp-shinned Hawk, are agile and quick, allowing them to chase and catch smaller birds in flight. Larger raptors, like the Bald Eagle, have powerful talons and a sharp beak, which enables them to catch and kill larger prey like fish and small mammals.

American Raptors: Top Predators in the Sky

American raptors are top predators in the sky, known for their keen eyesight, powerful talons, and lightning-fast speed. These birds of prey are expert hunters, with the ability to swoop down on their prey from great heights and snatch them up in their talons.

Raptors are an essential part of the bird ecosystem, responsible for maintaining a balance in the food chain. Their role as top predators helps to keep the populations of smaller animals in check, preventing overpopulation and ensuring a healthy ecosystem.

American raptors come in a variety of sizes, ranging from the tiny American kestrel to the massive bald eagle. Despite their size differences, all raptors share common traits such as sharp beaks and powerful talons that make them efficient hunters.

American Raptor Facts and Features

American raptors are a diverse group of birds of prey that have captured the attention of bird enthusiasts for their unique features and hunting abilities. These birds are known for their sharp talons and hooked beaks, which allow them to catch and eat their prey with ease. Here are some interesting facts about these fascinating birds:

American Raptor Facts:
American raptors are birds of prey that belong to the family Accipitridae.
They have excellent eyesight, allowing them to spot prey from great distances.
These birds have strong, muscular legs that allow them to grasp and carry their prey.
Many American raptors are migratory, traveling long distances each year to find food and mate.
The bald eagle, one of the most well-known American raptors, is the national bird and symbol of the United States.

American raptors are also known for their unique physical features:

  • Many raptors have a distinctive facial disc, which helps to funnel sound to their ears, enabling them to locate prey in the dark.
  • Raptors have sharp, curved talons that can exert a force of up to 500 pounds per square inch.
  • These birds also have a hooked beak that allows them to tear apart prey and consume it more easily.
  • Some raptors, such as the peregrine falcon, are the fastest animals in the world, reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour when diving for prey.
  • American raptors come in a variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from the small and agile sharp-shinned hawk to the large and majestic golden eagle.

American raptors are an essential part of the ecosystem, controlling populations of rodents and other small animals. These fascinating birds have captured the imaginations of people for centuries, inspiring awe and wonder with their unique features and impressive hunting abilities.

Exploration of Mourning Dove’s Characteristics

The mourning dove, also known as the American mourning dove, is a member of the family Columbidae and is a common sight in North America. This small bird, measuring around 9-13 inches in length and weighing only 4-6 ounces, is known for its distinctive cooing calls and graceful flight.

Mourning doves have slender body, with long pointed wings and a small head. They have a soft, brownish-gray plumage on their head and chest, and the rest of their body is a reddish-brown color. They have a long, pointed tail and a black spot behind their eyes that makes them easily recognizable.

Their diet consists mainly of seeds and grains, but they also consume insects and snails. They have a unique digestive system that allows them to extract more nutrients from their food than other birds.

Mourning doves are monogamous and mate for life. They usually lay two eggs at a time and can have up to six broods per year. Their nests are usually built in trees or shrubs, and both parents take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the young.

Overall, the mourning dove is a fascinating and important bird species in North America, with many unique characteristics that make it a beloved symbol of nature and wildlife.

Measurements and Dimensions: American Raptors vs. Mourning Dove

While American raptors and mourning doves may share similar sizes, there are distinct differences in their measurements and dimensions. Here are some specifics:

Bird SpeciesLengthWingspanWeight
American Kestrel8-11 inches20-24 inches2-5 ounces
Cooper’s Hawk14-20 inches28-35 inches8-24 ounces
Red-tailed Hawk18-26 inches44-52 inches2-4 pounds
Bald Eagle28-40 inches6-7 feet6.5-14 pounds
Mourning Dove9-13 inches17-19 inches3-6 ounces

As shown in the table, the American kestrel is the smallest raptor, weighing only a few ounces, while the bald eagle is the largest with a weight of up to 14 pounds. The mourning dove, albeit larger than the kestrel, is still much smaller in comparison to most American raptors in terms of length and wingspan.

It’s worth noting that measurements and dimensions can vary within species themselves, depending on factors such as age, sex, and geographical location.

American Raptors List: Size and Variations

There are numerous species of American raptors, with varying sizes and characteristics. Here is a list of some of the most prominent raptor species found in North America:

Raptor SpeciesSize (Length)WingspanWeight
Bald Eagle28-40 inches6-7 feet7-14 pounds
Red-Tailed Hawk18-26 inches3-4 feet2-4 pounds
Cooper’s Hawk14-18 inches2-3 feet8-14 ounces
Peregrine Falcon14-19 inches3-4 feet1-2 pounds
Osprey21-24 inches5-6 feet3-4 pounds
American Kestrel9-12 inches20-24 inches3-5 ounces

The bald eagle is the largest raptor species in North America, with a wingspan of up to 7 feet, while the American kestrel is the smallest, weighing only 3-5 ounces. The red-tailed hawk, one of the most common raptors in America, falls somewhere in between, with a length of 18-26 inches and a wingspan of 3-4 feet.

Each raptor species has its unique characteristics, such as hunting and nesting habits, that enable them to thrive in their respective habitats. Understanding these variations can help to identify raptors in the wild and appreciate their role in the ecosystem.

Mourning Dove Size Range: Insights and Observations

Mourning doves are a common sight across North America, found in a variety of habitats including open fields, woodlands, and suburban areas. These birds are known for their distinctive cooing sound and soft, gray-brown feathers.

While mourning doves are generally considered small to medium-sized birds, they can vary in size depending on their geographic location and subspecies. In the United States, mourning doves typically range in length from 9 to 13 inches and can have a wingspan of up to 18 inches.

Mourning doves are sexually dimorphic, meaning that males and females have slightly different physical characteristics. Male mourning doves are often slightly larger than females, with longer tails and more iridescent feathers on their necks.

However, there can be significant size variations within the species, particularly in regions where mourning doves are found in varying climates and habitats. For example, mourning doves found in the northern part of their range tend to be larger than their southern counterparts.

The size variations found within the mourning dove population highlight the adaptability of these birds and their ability to thrive in a range of environments.

Bird Size Chart: Comparing Raptors and Mourning Doves

To better understand the size comparison between American raptors and mourning doves, a bird size chart is a useful tool. The chart below presents the measurements of various American raptor species, alongside those of mourning doves for comparison.

Raptor SpeciesWingspanLengthWeight
American Kestrel20-24 inches8-12 inches3-5 ounces
Red-tailed Hawk43-56 inches18-26 inches2.5-4.5 pounds
Bald Eagle6-7 feet28-40 inches6.5-13 pounds
Peregrine Falcon39-43 inches13-23 inches0.7-2.1 pounds
Osprey5-6 feet21-24 inches3-4.5 pounds
Mourning Dove32-37 inches9-13 inches3.5-6.5 ounces

Note that these measurements are averages and can vary depending on the location and subspecies of the bird. However, this chart provides a general understanding of the size disparities between American raptors and mourning doves.


Throughout this article, we have explored the fascinating world of American raptors and their similarity in size to the mourning dove. We have learned that American raptors are a diverse group of birds of prey, ranging in size from smaller species such as the American Kestrel to larger ones like the Bald Eagle.

In addition, we have looked at the unique characteristics of American raptors, including their physical features, hunting abilities, and role as top predators in the sky. We have also compared the size of American raptors to the common mourning dove, providing measurements and dimensions for better understanding.

Utilizing a bird size chart, we were able to visualize the size differences between American raptors and mourning doves. The chart showed us that while some American raptors are smaller than mourning doves, others are significantly larger, highlighting the diversity within the raptor species.

Overall, American raptors are an integral part of the bird ecosystem, playing a vital role as top predators in the sky. Their distinct characteristics and adaptations make them a fascinating group of birds to observe and study. By comparing them to the common mourning dove, we gained a better understanding of their unique size and variations within the species.


Q: What are American raptors?

A: American raptors are bird species that belong to the order Falconiformes and Accipitriformes. They are known for their predatory nature and are often referred to as birds of prey.

Q: How many species of American raptors are there?

A: There are several species of American raptors, including eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls. The exact number of species varies, but there are approximately 70 recognized species in North America.

Q: What is the size of a mourning dove?

A: Mourning doves are small to medium-sized birds, ranging in length from 9 to 13 inches. They have a wingspan of about 17 to 18 inches and weigh around 3 to 6 ounces.

Q: How does the size of American raptors compare to mourning doves?

A: American raptors are generally larger than mourning doves. While the exact size varies among different raptor species, they are typically larger in length, wingspan, and weight compared to mourning doves.

Q: What are some unique features of American raptors?

A: American raptors have sharp beaks and powerful talons that they use for catching and killing their prey. They also have keen eyesight and strong wings that allow them to soar and hunt effectively.

Q: Are American raptors top predators in the sky?

A: Yes, American raptors are considered top predators in the sky. They are skilled hunters and play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems by controlling populations of smaller animals.

Read More: Blue Birds with Orange Chest: Discovering Vibrant Species in the US

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