Backyard Birds

Blue Ground Doves

The Blue Ground Dove (Claravis pretiosa) is a small New World tropical dove.

Distribution / Range

It is a resident breeder from southeastern Mexico to northwestern Peru northern Argentina and Trinidad.

The Blue Ground Dove is common in open woodland, forest edges, clearings and roadsides, especially in more humid areas.

It is found from sea level to about 1200 m altitude.

Blue Ground Doves occur singly or in pairs.

Nesting / Breeding

It builds a flimsy dish nest of twigs 1-11 m high in a tree and lays two white eggs.

Further Dove Information


Blue Ground Doves are small pigeons, 20 cm long with a weight of 65-72 g .

Adult males have blue-grey upperparts and paler grey underparts, becoming grey-white on the face. The flight feathers and outer tail feathers are blackish, and the wings are boldly marked with black. The iris is red or yellow, the bare eyering is green, and the legs are flesh-pink.

The female has a grey-brown head neck and breast, becoming pale blue-grey on the underwings and belly. The back is ruddy brown, contrasting with the chestnut rump and tail.

Young birds resemble the female but have ruddy scaling on the back.

The male is unlikely to be confused with other species, but the female resembles the smaller, shorter-tailed Columbina ground doves. The contrasting rump and woodland habitat are good identification points, and a blue-grey and brown bird flying through the trees together is bound to be this species.

Diet / Feeding

They feed mainly on the ground on seeds and small insects and take grit.

Calls / Vocalization

The male’s song, given from the treetops, is a loud boop.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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