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Common Ground Dove

ID Info
  • Common Ground Dove
  • Common Ground Dove
  • Common Ground Dove  video
Silhouette DovesDoves
Common Ground DoveColumbina passerina
  • ORDER: Columbiformes
  • FAMILY: Columbidae

Basic Description

A dove the size of a sparrow, the Common Ground Dove forages in dusty open areas, sometimes overshadowed by the grass clumps it is feeding beneath. Its dusty plumage is easy to overlook until the bird springs into flight with a soft rattling of feathers and a flash of reddish-brown in the wings. These small, attractive doves are common across the southernmost parts of the U.S. from California to Florida.

More ID Info
image of range map for Common Ground Dove
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Common Ground Doves are often found in pairs or small flocks, but can be hard to see as their grayish-brown plumage blends in with the ground. People may not notice Common Ground Doves until the birds flush into nearby brush, displaying rich chestnut wing patches as they fly. When people do spot these tiny, short-tailed doves, they sometimes mistake them for sparrows. You might hear a repetitive moaning call even if the bird is well concealed in the bushes.

Other Names

  • Columbina Común (Spanish)
  • Colombe à queue noire (French)

Backyard Tips

Common Ground-Doves come to ground feeders with commercial birdseed, rapeseed, millet, canary seed, buckwheat, sorghum, and other seeds. They need nearby shrub cover to stay hidden from predators. They regularly visit water holes to drink, but make sure there is some open space around the water source so predators can’t sneak up on them too easily. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

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