DOVEs and PIGEONs of The World

The Columbiformes order contains just one family, the Columbidae which is comprised of dove and pigeon species. They have small heads,short legs, and four unwebbed toes. All Columbiformes are monogamous. Unlike most other birds they are capable of drinking by sucking up water, without needing to tilt the head back.

New World

Order Columbiformes    Family Columbidae


Genus Claravis
Claravis doves have red eyes and pink legs, and the plumages of the males are primarily light gray-blue, and the females are primarily brown. Both sexes have a series of distinctive spots or bands on the wings. They are fairly arboreal for ground doves. Claravis doves have a distinct fast and rocking flight pattern.

Dove, Blue Ground-  Claravis pretiosa  Found: Mexico to northwestern Peru and northern Argentina; Trinidad
The male Blue Ground-Dove has blue-gray upperparts; paler gray underparts; gray-white face; wings have bold black spots often arranged to form bands; red or yellow iris; green eye-ring; pink legs. Female has ruddy upperparts; gray-brown breast, head, neck; chestnut-brown wing spots; pale blue-gray underwings, belly; chestnut rump, tail.
Image by: 1) Doug Janson  2) Dominic Sherony - Hondorus  3) Jerry Oldenettel - Costa Rica


Dove, Maroon-chested Ground-  Claravis mondetoura  Found: Mexico, Central America, northern South America
The Maroon-cheast Ground-Dove has reddish-eyes; pink legs; blackish-violet wing-bars. Male has dark blue-gray upperparts; whitish forehead, throat; dark maroon breast; blackish primary feathers; dark gray on underwings. Female has gray-brown head; brownish forehead, mainly white throat; dark brown crown, nape, back; brown-gray breast, flanks; paler and grayer belly; grayish-ocre undertail coverts; brownish rump.
Image by: 1) Donna Lynn - Costa Rica


Dove, Purple-winged Ground-  Claravis geoffroyi  Found: mainly near bamboo in South America
Image by: 1) Carlos Grupilo - Brazil



Genus Columbina
Small ground doves found in the New World. Their under-wings are reddish.

Dove, Blue-eyed Ground-
  Columbina cyanopis  Found: Brazil
The Blue-eyed Ground-Dove can be differentiated from the Ruddy Ground-Dove by its rufous head; whitish throat, vent.
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) chicoaquarela
1) Top: Blue-eyed Ground-Dove;   Bottom: Ecuadorian Ground-Dove


Dove, Common Ground- Columbina passerina   Found: The Americas
The Common Ground-Dove has brown back; brown wings with black spots; chestnut primary feathers; yellow bill with black tip; pink feathers around the bill. Feathers on head and breast have scale-like appearance. North America's smallest dove.
Similar to: Inca Dove. Inca dove has scales on back, Common Ground-Dove does not.
Similar to: Plain-breasted Ground-Dove. The Plain-breasted Ground-Dove does not have a scaly breast; the Common Ground-Dove has a scaly breast.
Similar to: Rudy Ground-Dove. Common Ground-Dove has scales on breast, Common Ground-Dove does not.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - Jamaica   2, 3) Dick - Puerto Rico  4) Peter Wallack  5) Dominic Sherony    6) Wilson - Martin Homestead Refuge, Edinburg, Texas



Dove, Croaking Ground-  Columbina cruziana  Found: Chile, Ecuador, and Peru
The Croaking Ground-Dove has yellow at base of bil; black pimaries, wing-bar.
Image by: 1) Haplochromis  2) David Cook - Peru  3) Ecologyweb - Peru


Dove, Ecuadorian Ground-  Columbina buckleyi  Found: Ecuador, Peru
The Ecuadorian Ground-Dove has smooth grayish-brown upperparts; dull pinkish-gray underparts.
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans   2) ik_kil    3) Marcel Holyoak - Ecuador
1, 2) C. b. dortsi   3) C. b. buckleyi


Dove, Inca  Columbina inca   Found: southwestern USA to Costa Rica
The Inca Dove has a gray-brown body with a scaly appearance; long tail; white under-tail. Despite the name they do not occur in any area were the Inca Empire used to be.
Similar to: Common Ground-Dove. Inca dove has scales on back, Common Ground-Dove does not.
Image by:  1) Alan D Wilson - New Mexico  2) C and C Roberson - Texas   3) J N Stuart - Arizona   4) Dick Daniels - Arizona at Desert Museum aviary  5) Dick - National Aviary  5) Elvis Herrera - Mexico 


Dove, Picui Ground  Columbina picui    Found: South America
Image by:  1) Claudio Timm in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil  2) Gabriela Steren


Dove, Plain-breasted Ground-  Columbina minuta  Found: Cenral America, South America
Similar to: Common Ground-Dove. The Plain-breasted Ground-Dove does not have a scaly breast; the Common Ground-Dove has a scaly breast.
Image by: 1) Leoadec - Brazil  2, 3) Barloventomagico - Venezuela


Dove, Ruddy Ground-  Columbina talpacoti  Found: southwest North America to south South America
The male Rudy Ground_Dove has rufous upperparts; gray head and neck; black spotted wing coverts; pale brown underparts; cinnamon and black under-wings. Female is gray-brown instead of rufous.
Similar to: Common Ground-Dove. Common Ground-Dove has scales on breast, Common Ground-Dove does not.
Similar to: Blue-eyed Ground-Dove.
Similar to: Mourning Dove. Mourning Dove is much larger than Ruddy Ground-Dove.
Image by: 1) Barloventomagico - Venezuela  2) Patty McGann - Panama  3, 4) Dario Sanches - Brazil
  5, 6) Dick Daniels - Boquette, Panama



Dove, Scaled  Columbina squammata   Found: Caribbean, South America
The Scaled Dove has grayish-brown upperparts; pinkish-gray face, breast; white throat.The dove is gets its "scaled" appearance from the dark edges of the birds feathers.
Image by: 1) Barloventomagico - Venezuela  2, 3) Dario Sanches - Brazil



Genus Leptotila
New World tropical and subtropical doves. Mainly found in Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean.

Dove, Caribbean  Leptotila jamaicensis  Found: Caribbean, Mexico
Image by: 1, 2) Trisha Shears


Dove, Gray-fronted  Leptotila rufaxilla  Found: South America
The Gray-fronted Dove has a blue-gray crown; whitish forehead, throat; whitish underparts with pink-buff on the breast; brown wings; rufous under-wing; yellow eyes with red eye-ring; black bill; legs red.
Image by: Dario Sanches


Dove, White-tipped  Leptotila verreauxi  Found: south Texas to South America
The White-tipped Dove has broad white tip on tail, best seen from below or in flight; gray-brown upperparts and wings; light underparts; rufous under-wing; gray head, nape; pale forehead, throat; red or blue eye-ring.
Similar to: White-winged Dove. The White-winged Dove has conspicuous white on its wings; White-tipped Dove doesn't.
Image by: 1) Carol Foil - Belize  2) Kathy and Sam - Costa Rica  3) Jerry Oldenettel - Costa Rica  4, 5) Claudio Timm  6) Alan D Wilson - Ramirez Ranch, Near Roma, Texas  7, 8) Dick Daniels - near Penonome, Panama



Genus Metriopelia

Dove, Bare-faced Ground- Metriopelia ceciliae Found: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru
The Bare-faced Ground-Dove has grayish-brown upperparts with pale feather edges; gray with pink or buffy tinged underparts; yellow to orange orbital skin around eyes.
Image by: 1) Ron Knight  2) carlo castellani - Bolivia


Dove, Black-winged Ground-
  Metriopelia melanoptera  Found: South America
The Black-winged Ground-Dove has a yellow patch beneath the eye.
Image by: 1) Carlo Castellani - Peru  2) Alastair Rae  3) Jerry Oldenettel - Ecuador


Dove, Moreno's Ground-  also  Bare-eyed Ground-Dove  Metriopelia morenoFound: Argentina
The Moreno's Ground-Dove has brown upperparts; gray underparts; orange orbital skn around eyes; pnikish legs.
Image by: 1) Ron Knight




Genus Patagioenas
New World Pigeons. Diverged from the Genus Columba over 8 million years ago.

Pigeon, Band-tailed  Patagioenas fasciata   Found: The Americas
The Band-tailed Pigeon has mainly gray plumage; white belly; green iridescence on back of neck with white arc above; yellow bill, feet.
Similar to: Rock Dove. Band-trailed Pigeon has white stripe on nape; Rock Dove does not. Band-trailed Pigeon has yellow bill with black tip; Rock Dove does not have yellow on its bill.
Image by: 1) Alan Vernon - Arizona  2) Gary Kramer, US Fish and Wildlife Service  3) Ingrid Taylar  4) Greg Smith - California


Pigeon, Bare-eyed  Patagioenas corensis Found: South America
The Bare-eyed Pigeon is found in Aruba, Colombia, Netherlands Antilles, and Venezuela.
Image by: 1) Chika Wantanabe  2) Barloventomagico - Venezuela


Pigeon, Chilean  Patagioenas araucana  Found: Argentina, Chile, Falkland Islands.
The Chilean Pigeon has mainly dark gray plumage; thin white collar on rear nape; reddish underparts.
Image by: 1) RH London  2) Diego Reyes Arellano


Pigeon, Dusky  Patagioenas goodsoni  Found: Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama_ReinaldoAguilar
Imsge by: 1) Jerry Oldenettel - Ecuador 2) Michael Woodruff - Ecuador


Pigeon, Pale-vented  Patagioenas cayennensis  Found: Mexico to Argentina
The Peruvian Pigeon has mainly dull purple plumage; gray wing covert, rumps; dark gray lower back and tail; light gray lower underparts; black bill.
Similar to: Peruvian Pigeon. Pale-vented Pigeon has paler undertail coverts than belly; Peruvian Pigeon undertail coverts and belly same color. Ranges rarely overlap.
Image by: 1) Jerry Oldenettel - Costa Rica  2) Claudio Timm


Pigeon, Peruvian   also  Maranon Pigeon  Patagioenas oenops  Found: Ecuador, Peru
The Peruvian Pigeon has mainly dull purple plumage; gray wing covert, rumps; dark gray lower back and tail; black bill; red iris, eye-ring.
Similar to: Pale-vented Pigeon. Pale-vented Pigeon has paler undertail coverts than belly; Peruvian Pigeon undertail coverts and belly same color. Ranges rarely overlap.
Image by: 1, 2) Doug Janson


Pigeon, Picazuro  Patagioenas picazuro  Found: South American
The Picazuor Pigeon has mainly brown plumage; white dashes on neck; darker brown wing patterns; gray rump
Image by:  1, 4) Dario Sanches - Sao Paulo Botanic Garden, Brazil   2, 3) dfaulder - Buenos Aires, Argentina


Pigeon, Plain  Patagioenas inornata  Found: Caribbean
The Plain Pigeon has mainly blue-gray plumage with a rose wash; white leading edge of folded wing; dark red legs.
Image by: 1) Paloma Sabanera - Puerto Rica  2) Ron Knight - Dominican Republic


Pigeon, Plumbeous  Patagioenas plumbea  Found: Panama, South America
Image by: 1) Ron Knight  2) Vivek Tiwari


Pigeon, Red-billed  Patagioenas flavirostris  Found: The Americas
Red-billed Pigeon has mainly reddish-purple plumage; gray tail, lower belly; red bill with white tip. Its eyes and legs are red.
Image by: 1) Michael Woodruff - Costa Rica  2) Tom Friedel


Pigeon, Ring-tailed  Patagioenas caribaea  Found: Jamaica
Image by: 1, 2) Ron Knight  3) abcdefgewing


Pigeon, Ruddy  Patagioenas subvinacea  Found: Costa Rica to central South America
The Ruddy Pigeon has mainly reddish-purple plumage with the back more rufous; black bill; purple-red legs.
Similar to: Short-billed Pigeon. Short-billed Pigeon has darker back; Ruddy Pigeon has shorter bill.
Image by: 1) Michael Woodruff - NW Ecuador  2) Sergio Quesada - Costa Rica


Pigeon, Scaled  Patagioenas speciosa  Found: Mexico, Central America, South America
The Scaled Pigeon has reddish-brown upperparts; black and white spotted underparts; purplish head; reddish bill with yellow tip. Female has less boldly speckled underparts.
Image by: 1) Dave Curtis - Panama  2) Diego Calderon - Columbia


Pigeon, Short-billed
  Patagioenas nigrirostris  Found: southern Mexico south to northwestern Colombia.
The Shirt-billed Pigeon has mainly wine-purple plumage; tending to olive-brown on the back; browner on the belly; short black bill; purplish-red eyes, legs. Female slighly duller and browner than male.
Similar to: Ruddy Pigeon. Short-billed Pigeon has darker back; Ruddy Pigeon has shorter bill.
Image by: 1) Reinaldo Aguilar - Costa Rica  2) Amy McAndrews - Mexico


Pigeon, Spot-winged  Patagioenas maculosa  Found: South America
The Spot-winged Pigeon has gray plumage; white spots on wing coverts. It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
Image by: 1) Lip Kee Yap  2)  Cláudio Timm 


Pigeon, Scaly-naped  Patagioenas squamosa  Found: The Caribbean
The Scaly-naped Pigeon has mainly gray plumage; maroon around the neck which appears scaly. Bare skin around male's eyes is reddish; around female more yellowish.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - St. John, Virgin Islands  2, 3) Dick - Mayaquez Zoo, Puerto Rico


Pigeon, White-crowned  Patagioenas leucocephala  Found: The Caribbean and North America (South Florida)
The White-crowned Pigeon has a distinct white crown; mainly dark gray plumage; green and white bars on nape; white iris; pale-tipped red bill.
Image by: 1, 2) Dave Irving - Bahamas; Florida  3, 4) Trisha Shears  - Louisville Zoo



Genus Zenaida

Dove, Eared  Zenaida auriculata   Found: South America
The Eared Dove has mainly olive-brown upperparts with black spots on wings; gray crown; black line behind eye; pale blue-black spot at ear region; reddish underparts; black bill; red legs.
Similar to: Mourning Dove. Range does not overlap except near junction of North and South America and there interbreeding may be problematic.
Image by: 1) Gustavo Duran  2) Dario Sanches - Brazil  3) Arthur Chapman  4) Claudio Timm - Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil  5, 8) Dick Daniels - Quito, Ecuador  6, 7) Dick - Lima, Peru 


Dove, Galapagos Zenaida galapagoensis   Found: Galapagos Islands
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - the Galapagos Islands


Dove, Mourning Zenaida macroura   Found: North America, Central America, north South America (rare)
The Mourning Doves is name for their sound. It has gray and brown plumage; black spots on back and wings; pale blue eye-ring. Millions are killed each year by hunters, but they are prolific breeders.
Similar to: Eared Dove. Range does not overlap except near junction of North and South America and there interbreeding may be problematic.
Similar to: Ruddy Ground-Dove. Mourning Dove is much larger than Ruddy Ground-Dove.
Image by: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) Dick Daniels - North Carolina  3) Dick - New Hampshire  9, 10) Dick - Arizona
1, 2, 3) Juvenile.


Dove, Socorro  Zenaida graysoni  Extinct in wild: Sorcorro Island off Mexico
The male Socorro Dove has deep crimson head, underparts;  blue-gray nape; rufous brown underparts. Female is slightly duller.
Image by: 1) Harmish Irivine - Edinburgh Zoo  2) Trisha Shears - Louisville Zoo


Dove, West Peruvian  also Pacific Dove  Zenaida meloda  Found; southwest Ecuador to north Chile
The West Peruvian Dove has brownish-gray upperparts; gray underparts; white wing marking; bright blue eye-patch.
Similar to: White-winged Dove. Range does not overlap.
Image by: 1) Ecologyweb - Peru  2) Ellen MacDonald - Peru  3) Mark Harper  4) Charlie Westerinen - Lima Peru  5,  6, 7, 8) Dick Daniels - Lima, Peru 


Dove, White-winged Zenaida asiatica   Found: North America, Central Amercia
The White-winged Dove has brownish-gray upperparts; gray underparts; white wing marking; blue eye-patch.
Similar to: West Peruvian Dove. Range does not overlap.
Similar to: White-tipped Dove. The White-winged Dove has conspicuous white on its wings; White-tipped Dove doesn't.
Image by:   1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - North Carolina Zoo   4) Dick - Jamaica  5, 6, 7, 8) Dick - Puerto Rico   9, 10, 11) Dick - Arizona


Dove, Zenaida  Zenaida aurita   Found: the Caribbean
The Zenaida Dove has gray and brown plumage; black spots on back and wings; blue patch on neck; pale blue eye-ring.
Similar to: Mourning Dove. Zenaida Dove has blue patch on neck; Mourning Dove does not.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - Jamaica  2, 3) Dick - Puerto Rico   4) Dick - St. John, Virgin Islands





Back to Top