Distinguishing Features - Length: male, 30.5 cm, female, 28 cm; bill, black; eye, glossy black. surrounded with a pale, greenish blue skin; crown, upper parts of neck, and the wing coverts, ashy brown; forehead, sides of neck, and breast, red-brown. Vivid tints of green, gold, and crimson shine on the neck; small black spot under the ear. Legs and feet, coral red. The large pointed tail is bordered with large white spots, which are conspicuous in flight.
Breeds from southern Canada and sometimes as far north as southern Alaska, throughout United States; open woods, groves and woodlots; forages in weedy wastelands, cultivated fields, grasslands and roadsides; also common at bird feeders.
Primarily grain, seeds, worms and insects.
The call is mournful (hence the name) and flute-like, consisting of four long coos, the second syllable of the first note being high, and the first and last notes low in pitch.
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