Common Ground-Dove

Columbina passerina

This bird inhabits the southern United States, parts of Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. The Common Ground Dove is perhaps the smallest dove that inhabits the United States.

Called the “ground-dove” for good reason, these birds forage on the ground, eating several thousand seeds a day. They nest and spend most of their time on the ground. This makes them vulnerable to a wide variety of predators.

Science has divided this species into 19 subspecies, including the Socorro Ground-Dove (C. p. socorroensis), which I met on our first afternoon on Isla Socorro when on our February 2017 expedition to the Archipielago de Revillagigedo. In the USA, there are two subspecies we might see. C. p. passerina lives in the southeastern USA along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. C. p. pallescens lives in the American Southwest and northwestern Mexico, and south through Mexico and norther Central America.

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