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Inca Dove

The Inca Dove, Columbina inca, is a small New World dove. It ranges from the southwestern United States and Mexico through Central America to Costa Rica. Despite being named after the Inca Empire, this species does not occur in any of the lands that constituted that region. Inca Doves are common to abundant within their range and they are expanding their range north and south.

Inca Doves reach a length of 6.5 to 8.25 inches and weigh 1.6 oz.. They are slender, with a gray-brown body covered in feathers that resemble a scaled pattern. The tail is long and square, edged with white feathers that may flare out in flight. In flight, the underwing is reddish, like other ground doves, and on takeoff, the wings produce a distinctive, quiet rattling noise.

This is a terrestrial species which occurs in flocks in open areas including scrub and cultivation. It will feed in urban areas, eating grass seeds and taking advantage of the ready availability of water from agricultural and suburban irrigation. The flimsy twig nest is built 1-8 m high in a tree, often a thorny species, and two white eggs are the normal clutch.

Inca Dove


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