These tiny doves are generally brownish grey above and somewhat paler below with scaled breast and nape. The forehead and cheeks are pale pinkish, and the crown and hindneck are scaled bluish-grey. The black tipped bill is red at the base. Legs and feet are red. The short rounded tail has a black terminal bar thinning toward the center of the tail, and the outer tail feathers are tipped with white. At rest the wings show dark brownish bars and spots. In flight the bright rufous underwings and black-tipped rufous primaries of the upper wings are distinctive
A small chunky dove. Back and upperwings are grey-brown, breast and head having a scaly appearance. Wing coverts show black spotting and inner webs of primaries and wing linings are cinnamon. Tail is brown in the center with black edges and white corners. In flight it flashes bright chestnut on the primaries and wing linings. Males show a pinkish-buff colored head, neck and breast and blue hindneck and nape. Belly is pinkish and unscaled. Females have a pale grey head, neck, nape and breast and an unscaled belly. Juvenile birds are similar to the adult female, but are longer tailed, lack cinnamon primaries and tend to be more extensively scaly.
Inhabits open country with trees and bushes, sandy reefs, open sandy areas in forest and savannah. Primarily a bird of cultivated land, villages and towns. Found primarily in open areas with plants that produce small seeds such as abandoned agricultural fields, young pine plantations or citrus groves and other early successional habitats.
The nest is a fragile, shallow platform of stems and grasses placed in a low shrub, cactus, or palm, or occasionally on the ground. Ground-Doves are not averse to reusing their own nest, or that of a cardinal or thrasher. The female lays only two eggs at a time. However, she may produce several clutches over an extended breeding season, which can last from February to November, depending on food availability. As in other dove species, the parents feed their nestlings regurgitated food, or “pigeon milk.” The young develop rapidly. They are capable of flying when they are 11 days old and are capable of breeding at three months of age.
The Ground-Dove is often encountered foraging on the ground for seeds, small berries, and occasional insects
Video Common Ground-Dove
copyright: D. DesJardin
This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 6,400,000 km2. It has a large global population estimated to be 2,300,000 individuals (Rich et al. 2003). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Sedentary, although most Northern population may migrate South due to harsh weather conditions.