Backyard Birds

Grey-fronted Doves

The Grey-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla is a large New World tropical dove.

It is a resident breeder in eastern South America from Colombia south to northeast Argentina and Uruguay. The form L. r. hellmayrii breeds in Trinidad, although it has also been recorded in neighboring areas of Venezuela.

The Grey-fronted Dove inhabits humid forest.


The Grey-fronted Dove is very similar to the closely related White-tipped Dove, Leptotila verreauxi, which prefers more open, drier, woodland. It is 28cm long and weighs 155g.

Adult birds have a blue-grey crown and forehead and a grey neck showing purple iridescence. They have a whitish throat and the eye-ring is red. The upperparts and wings are grey-brown, and the underparts are whitish shading to pink on the belly. The tail is broadly tipped with white. The bill is black and the legs red. L. r. hellmayrii has a paler forehead and darker, more rufous, breasts.

Further Dove Information

The best distinctions from White-tipped Dove are the bluish forehead and crown, and the red eyering.

The Grey-fronted Dove is usually seen singly or in pairs and is rather wary. Its flight is fast and direct, with the regular beats and clattering of the wings which are characteristic of pigeons in general.

Diet / Feeding

The food of this species is mainly seeds obtained by foraging on the ground, but it will also take insects.

Call / Vocalization

The call is a deep hollow ooo-wooooo-ou.


It builds a large stick nest in a bush or on a stump and lays two white eggs.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button