Sunday, 8 July 2012

Ruddy ground-dove

Columbina talpacoti

Photo by Iain Petrie (The Four Ages of Sand)

Common name:
ruddy ground-dove (en); rolinha-roxa (pt); colombe rousse (fr); tortolita colorada (es)rosttäubchen (de)

Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

This species is found from Mexico south to Paraguay, southern Brazil and northern Argentina.

These birds are 14-18 cm long and weigh 35-60 g.

The ruddy ground-dove is found in moist, open woodlands, scrublands, savannas, marshes, forest edges, agricultural fields, pastures and even within urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

They mainly forage on the ground, eating seeds, spilled grain and sometimes also insects, snails and berries.

Ruddy ground-doves can breed all year round. The nest is a loose platform made of grasses and stems, often lined with rootlets and fine grasses. It is usually placed in a dense scrub or tree, around 7 m above the ground. The female lays 2 white eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 11-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents, first on crop milk and later also other foods, fledging 10-15 days after hatching. Each pair raises several clutches per year, often starting a new clutch a few days after the previous chicks fledged.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and is described as common. The population is suspected to be increasing as ongoing habitat degradation is creating new areas of suitable habitat.

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