Common Ground Dove

The Common Ground Dove (Columbina passerina), is a small New World tropical dove. It is a resident breeder from Bermuda, through the south most USA, Mexico and the Caribbean, to South America, and is found as far south as northern Brazil.

Common Ground Doves are tiny short-tailed pigeons at 6.75 inches. Their weight is normally about 1 ounce. Adult birds have gray-brown back and upper wing plumage, with black spotting on their wing coverts. They have a scaly appearance to the breast and head. The tail is brown centrally, with black edges and white corners. The bill is orange and tipped black.

The adult male has a pink head, neck and breast, and a pink unscaled belly. The nape is blue. The female and juvenile are light gray where the male is pink, and have gray napes. In flight the under wings appear to have a chestnut color.

The Common Ground Dove inhabits scrub and other open country. It builds a flimsy stick nest in a tree and lays two white eggs. Its flight is fast and direct, with regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings that are characteristic of pigeons in general.

Common Ground Doves feed mainly on seeds, but do eat some insects. Their call is a soft cooing wha-up.

Photo Courtetsy