Ruddy ground dove

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Ruddy ground dove
Columbina talpacoti.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Columbina
Species: C. talpacoti
Binomial name
Columbina talpacoti
(Temminck, 1810)

The ruddy ground dove (Columbina talpacoti) is a small New World tropical dove. It is a resident breeder from Mexico south to Peru, Brazil and Paraguay, and northern Argentina, and on Trinidad and Tobago. Individual birds can sometimes be seen in the southwestern USA, from southern Texas to southernmost California, primarily during winter.

The ruddy ground dove is very common in scrub and other open country, including cultivated land and urban centers, where it can be seen feeding on grain alongside feral pigeons. It builds a solid but sparsely lined cup-shaped stick nest in a tree and lays two white eggs. Incubation is 12–13 days with another 12–14 days to fledging. There may be a second or third brood. Chick mortality through predation and falls from the nest is high.[2]

Its flight is fast and direct, with the regular beats and occasional sharp flick of the wings which are characteristic of pigeons in general.

Ruddy ground doves are small short-tailed pigeons, 17 cm (6.7 in) long with a weight normally about 47 g (1.7 oz). Adult males have a pale grey head and neck, and rich rufous upperparts, black-spotted on the wing coverts. The underparts are paler brown, the tail is edged black, and the underwings are cinnamon and black. The female is grey-brown rather than rufous, and has less contrast between head and body than the male.

The subspecies C. t. rufipennis of Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago shows much more cinnamon on the underwing than the nominate C. t. talpacoti.

Ruddy ground doves feed mainly on seeds. The call is a soft cooing cur-WOO.

This species can be quite approachable. Males frequently threaten each other by jumping and raising a wing, and brief confrontations may ensue.



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Columbina talpacoti". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Cf. José Felipe Monteiro Pereira, Aves e Pássaros Comuns do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro: Technical Books, 2008, ISBN 978-85-61368-00-5 , page 59

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