Common Ground-DoveColumbina passerina

adult male Western
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
adult female Western
Greg Lasley/VIREO
adult male Eastern
Rolf Nussbaumer/VIREO
adult female Western
Brian E. Small/VIREO
adult male Western
Greg Lasley/VIREO
Common Ground-Dove


6 1/2" (17 cm). A sparrow-sized, short-tailed brown dove with much rufous in the wings. Tail dark with white corners.


Soft cooing notes, coo-oo, coo-oo, coo-oo, each with rising inflection.


song #1
song #2


Open areas such as fields, gardens, farmlands, and roadsides.


Resident in southern parts of California, Arizona, and Texas, and east to southern North Carolina.


The Common Ground-Dove flies fast, with its short wings beating rapidly, almost like those of a quail. When it walks, it nods like a pigeon. It searches for seeds on the ground but requires low brush for nesting and roosting. Most courtship behavior takes place on the ground, with the male pursuing the female, bobbing his expanded neck in rhythm with his monotonous cooing.


2 white eggs in a nest on or close to the ground, often hidden in a tuft of grass or among weeds.

Similar Species


Inca Dove

8" (20 cm). A tiny long-tailed dove with a scaly gray body and contrasting rufous in the wings.

adult male

Ruddy Ground-Dove

6.5-7" (17-18 cm). W. 16 1/2-18" (42-45 cm). A small, short-tailed dove with prominent rufous primaries visible in flight.


White-tipped Dove

12" (30 cm). Brown with whitish forehead, belly, and tail tips; chestnut wing linings.


iPad Promo