Monday, February 27, 2023

Jamaican Common Ground Dove

I've seen a few common ground doves before, near the headquarters of the Sonny Bono NWR, near the Salton Sea in Calipatria, California. However, at Rocklands Bird Sanctuary near Montego Bay, Jamaica, I saw lots of them scrambling for seed that had been spread out upon the ground. 
Male common ground dove.
They are found in the southwestern and southeastern U.S., through much of Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, and north central and north eastern South America. There are 17 subspecies. The nominate subspecies (passerina) is found in the southeastern U.S., I've seen the southwestern subspecies (pallescens) and Jamaica has its own subspecies (jamaicensis) which is noted by a pale beak with males having a dark underbelly. 
Female common ground dove.
It has a pink to yellow bill with a black tip. Feathers on the head and upper breast have a scale-like appearance which can look like dimpling on a golf ball. 
The back, coverts and wing feathers are brown and the coverts and wing feathers have black spotting. It has chestnut primaries and wing borders that can only be seen when flying. Males have slate gray feathers on the top of the head and pink gray on the belly. Females are more gray and more evenly colored.  

It forages on the ground for vegetation, seeds, fruits, insects and snails. It is the smallest dove found in the U.S. 

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting beak--like it was dipped in black paint. I love the description of the feathers on the head that looks like "dimpling on a golf ball."