Thursday, August 22, 2019

Common Ground-Dove

The Common Ground-Dove is an easy species for us to overlook during our morning walks in the Wounded Wetlands. Only about 6 1/2 inches (17 cm) long and drab in appearance, it does not gather in flocks which are so characteristic of other members of its family of pigeons and doves. Instead, it forages quietly in the grass or at the edges of woodlands, flying away low before being approached too closely.

It has a sprightly scientific name, Columbina passerina, which could be danced to a Macarena or a salsa tune and translates as "tiny dove sparrow." 

Common Ground-Dove 20170309

We usually see them in pairs or with one or two of their offspring. Indeed, they are said to mate for life. Its major population is in the tropics, but it ranges into the extreme southern USA, including all of Florida and parts of the other Gulf States, southern California, southwestern Arizona as well as much of Mexico, Central and South America.

Common Ground-Doves 3-20170314

Common Ground-Doves 2-20131004

Common Ground-Doves 20130531
A brown bird with a lighter grayish head, the Common Ground-Dove's plumage has a scaly appearance, especially on its neck, breast and undersides. The similar but slightly larger Ruddy Ground-Dove wanders north of Mexico and sometimes breeds in southwestern US.

The Common Ground-Dove's song is also unassuming, a repetitive and monotonous soft "woot, woot, woot..." Yet it has a strikingly brilliant plumage feature--  bright reddish brown primary wing feathers and underwing linings, which only show when the bird bursts into flight.

I have only captured a few (very poor) views of a Common Ground-Dove in flight:

Common Ground_Dove in flight 01-20190815

Common Ground-Dove in flight 20120731

Common Ground Dove 20100209

Common Ground-Dove in flight 03-20130531

Common Ground-Doves 20121005

Adult female Common Ground-Dove:

Common Ground-Dove 3-20170311

The male is more brightly colored, with pink highlights on its neck, breast and crown, and bluish gray crown and nape of his neck:

Common Ground-Dove 20130805

I encountered this male up fairly close and in bright sunlight:

Common Ground-Dove 01-20190811

Common Ground-Dove 02-20190811

Common Ground-Dove 06-20190811

By accident, I discovered an active Common Ground-Dove nest on August 17, 2014, the first ever reported in Broward County. While I was walking along the side of the gravel road, a dove flew up out of the grass just to my side. The flimsy nest contained two white eggs, barely visible the vegetation. (Photos from the roadway with telephoto lens):

Nest of Common Ground-Dove 20140817

Common Ground-Dove nest 20140817

This is the female which had been sitting on the nest:

Common Ground-Dove 20140817

 During the next several days I checked the nest without disturbing it and the eggs remained intact. This was the nest on August 22:

Common Ground-Dove nest 20140822

However, ten days after I had located the nest, the landscapers came through and mowed all along the side of the road (August 27, 2014):

Common Ground-Dove nest site 20140927

They left no sign of the nest structure or remains of the eggs:

Common Ground-Dove nest site 2-20140827

An encouraging sign-- Two years later, on August 19, 2016, a pair was tending to two fledgling young (to the left), along the same roadside weed patch:

Common Ground-Doves 20160819

This is one of my favorite photos of a Common Ground-Dove. It seems such a peaceful setting:

Common Ground-Dove HDR 20160311

Trees felled by Hurricane Irma almost two years ago reflect chaotic beauty in the wetlands, now flooded after our area's wettest July ever:

Flooded windfall area 20190807

On August 8 it was 80 degrees F (26.6 C) just after sunrise. A westerly breeze, so welcome, stirred the surface of the lake:

Westerly breeze at sunrise 20190811

An adult Bald Eagle often passes over just around sunrise, flying from the nearby nest tree to forage in the large lake to the southeast:

Bald Eagle 20190808

Butterflies are still scarce. I have not seen any Monarchs for several weeks. A Gulf Fritillary rested on a grass stem:

Gulf Fritillary 20190811

This is the view to the south along the large canal on a fair morning. The Wounded Wetlands are on the right (west) side, opposite "civilization"  (August 14):

196th Ave Canal 20190814

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. Common Ground Dove is an inordinately attractive little bird, which is paradoxical in a way since they are not brightly coloured nor do they have an especially outgoing personality. I saw them every day during a visit to Costa Rica earlier this year and enjoyed them every time.

  2. love doves

    We have two white doves, Lord and Lady Stark

  3. excellent captures! enough for a week of posts!

  4. Beautiful photos. Very sad about the landscapers mowing over the nest and eggs.

  5. I enjoyed reading about the dove (saddened by the county mowers destrying the best tho!)

    Magnificent images! If you find time, please stop by and give your expert ID on my 'new' bird.

    If your in the tropical storm's path...stay safe.

    1. Thanks for linking up this week. Hope your computer woes are resolved soon.

  6. Wonderful photos! Nothing poor about the birds in flight. Well done.

  7. Hello, wonderful post on the Ground Dove. Your photos are beautiful. It is sad about the mowing, they picked a bad place to leave their eggs. The flight photos are beautiful. Love the eagle and sky shot too. Thanks so much for linking up! Thank you for your visits and comments! Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week ahead.

  8. Thank you for these photos! They are beautiful. The one of the butterfly is just breathtaking! Thank you!

  9. I guess this isn't the kind of dove that I remember from when I lived in Southern California. Those that the lovely, calming cooing sound from the Eucalyptus trees on the hill behind our house. - Margy

  10. Smiled about the Latin numbers - your age is certainly worth doing it in Latin! It seems Latin numbers are not anymore taught! Last year, one of my grands (5th grade) had a reading assignment and hubs asked how many chapters he had read. He didn't know."Show it to me then." Then hubs discovered the book had the chapters in Latin numbers. So, to help him, he wrote the numbers down for him, and told him to save the piece of paper.

    Love your second image - how the pair sits on the branch forms a perfect heart! Am glad you pointed out the eggs - what a clever bird! Oh wow, the flood really makes it a mess.Your landscape at the end if beautiful! Many thanks for educating us at All Seasons about these items - greatly appreciated! Have an enjoyable week:)

  11. Enjoyed your photos ofthe dove. Many excellent peaceful shots.

  12. I am pretty sure this is the dove we have in our backyard. Always here them cooing. Love it! Makes me so happy.

  13. We having a pair of mourning doves who visit us regularly. My mother-in-law thought their cooing was mournful and sad; I somehow find it soothing.
    Thanks for linking up at

  14. neat photographs and I just love your last serene!

  15. So pleased to see you feature ground doves; they were “exotic” to us when we were first in Florida and I still enjoy observing them. Thank you for the good information about them,, The mowing part made me sad.

  16. Your pictures are excellent, as usual. We have mourning doves here.


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