The Inca dove or Mexican dove(Columbina inca) is a small New World dove. Inca doves reach a length of 16.5–23 cm (6.5–9.1 in) and weigh 30–58 g (1.1–2.0 oz). They are slender, with a gray-brown body covered in feathers that resemble a scaled pattern. The tail is long and square and edged with white feathers that may flare out in flight. The underwings are reddish, like other ground doves, and upon takeoff, the wings produce a distinctive, quiet rattling noise.
Distribution and habitat
The Inca Dove ranges from Costa Rica in the south to the American Southwest in the north and is often common to abundant in suitable habitat. Despite being named after the Inca Empire, this species does not occur in any of the lands that once constituted that empire. Inca doves are expanding their range in the north and south. This terrestrial species forms flocks in deserts, scrublands and cultivated areas and may also be found in urban settings where they feed upon grass seeds and take advantage of the ready availability of water from agricultural and suburban irrigation.
Inca Doves build their nests primarily in trees and shrubs. The average diameter is about 5 centimeters. The male gathers nesting material and presents it to the female, who also gathers some nesting material. The nest is composed of twigs, grass, weed stalks, and leaves and becomes reinforced with the brood's excrement. The nest is often reused over and over, with one nest being reused 11 times.
During winter, Inca Doves roost in communal huddles in a pyramid formation that aid in heat conservation. These pyramids can contain up to 12 birds. They often flock outside their territories, with flocks going up to 100 birds.
The song, a forceful cooing rendered variously as "cowl-coo" or "POO-pup", may be given from a tree, wire, or other open, high perch such as a television aerial.
- "Inca Dove". Birds of North America. Cornell Lab of Ornothology. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Columbina inca". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Inca dove". All About Birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
- Mueller, Allan; Mueller, Allan J. (2004). Alan Poole, ed. "Inca Dove (Columbina inca)". The Birds of North America Online. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Lab of Ornithology. doi:10.2173/bna.28. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Robertson, Paul B.; Schnapf, Ann F. (1987). "Pyramiding Behavior in the Inca Dove: Adaptive Aspects of Day-Night Differences" (PDF). The Condor. Cooper Ornithological Society. 89 (1): 185–187. doi:10.2307/1368776.
- Sibley, David (2003). The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. ISBN 0-679-45121-8.
- Stiles, F. Gary; Skutch, Alexander F. (1989). A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Comstock Publishing Associates. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4.
- "Columbina inca". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 4 February 2006.
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- Inca dove - Columbina inca - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter
- Inca dove photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
- "Inca dove media". Internet Bird Collection.
- Inca dove species account at NeotropicalBirds (Cornell University)