common ground

Common Ground Dove

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

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 are one of the world's smallest pigeons, at 17 cm (6.7 in) and 31 g (1.1 oz). Their weight is normally about 32g (1oz). Adult birds have grey-brown back and upperwing 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, tipped black. In flight, the underwings show extensive chestnut colouration.

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 grey where the male is pink, and have grey napes.

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


  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • "National Geographic" Field Guide to the Birds of North America ISBN 0-7922-6877-6
  • Handbook of the Birds of the World Vol 4, Josep del Hoyo editor, ISBN 84-87334-22-9
  • "National Audubon Society" The Sibley Guide to Birds, by David Allen Sibley, ISBN 0-679-45122-6

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