Backyard Birds

Common Ground Doves

The Common Ground Dove (Columbina passerina) is resident throughout its range, which is the southmost USA, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, to South America, as far south as northern Brazil. They inhabit scrub and other open country.


This is a small short-tailed pigeon averaging 17cm in length and weighing around 32g (1oz).

The plumage is grey-brown on the back and upper wing plumage, with black spotting on their wing coverts (feathers).

In flight, the underwing feathers show extensive chestnut coloration. They have a scaly appearance to the breast and head. The tail is brown centrally, with black edges and white corners. The beak is orange, tipped black.

The adult male has a pink head, neck, and breast, and a pink unscaled belly. The nape (back of the neck) is blue.

The female and immature birds are light grey whereas the male is pink and has grey napes.

Nesting / Breeding

Their flimsy stick nest is usually located in a tree. The average clutch consists of two white eggs.

Diet / Feeding

The Common Ground Dove feed mainly on seeds, but may take some insects.


Their call is a soft cooing wha-up.

Further Dove Information


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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