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Ruddy Ground Dove

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Diego Martin

Head and neck are pale gray while the upperparts are a reddish brown. There are black spots on the upper side of the wings and the underwing coverts are black. The tail is black. The underparts are a pale brown while the legs are red. The bill is gray tipped black. The female is browner and less red than the male and does not have the male's contrasting gray head but has a brownish gray head. The eyes are red but appear black. The bill is horn-coloured and the feet are reddish pink.

This bird can be found throughout Trinidad and Tobago. It is often seen in pairs or small groups with mated Ruddy Ground Doves staying close to each other at all times. This species prefers open spaces with low cut grass and cultivated land. It feeds on the ground on seeds and often feeds in flocks with all birds facing the same direction. It walks in a mechanical manner with short rapid steps and a bobbing head. When surprised it flies suddenly with an audible wing-whir but only flies a short distance. Males make a cooing sound that is repeated with quickening tempo so that near the end of a series of notes, each one sounds more like "boo." Males often fight with each other and each bird tries to strike the other with one or both of its wings and each flies upwards in order to try falling down upon its opponent.

The nest is always in a tree, shrub or even on the edge of a building but never on the ground. The nest is built by the male and female together and is a shallow saucer. Both the male and female take turns incubating the eggs. When incubating the male will not leave the nest even when an intruder approaches.

Family - Doves

Other Names - Rufous winged Ground Dove

Latin Name - Columbina talpacoti

Range - Mexico through Central America to northern South America


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Ruddy Ground Dove - Male

Diego Martin


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Ruddy Ground Dove - Female

Diego Martin


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Diego Martin


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Last modified: February 16, 2008