Columbina Passerina – Common Ground Dove

Columbina Passerine - Common Ground Dove found in the US

The common ground dove, Columbina passerina is a tiny bird that is found throughout the southern United States, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. It is the smallest dove found in the United States. As its name implies, the bird spends most of its time walking on the ground yet is capable of flying.

Quick Overview: Columbina Passerina – Common Ground-Dove
Body size: Around 6-7 in (15-18 cm) and a weight of 31 g (1.1 oz)
Main colors: Brown, Black, Pink
Range: Southeastern United States
Migratory Bird: No
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: All Year (January – December)
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Common Ground Dove Description

The Common Ground-plumage Dove’s is sandy brown with huge, black dots on the wing coverts. When in flight, the wings have dense rufous patches. Males have a pinkish wash on their heads, necks, and chests, as well as azure crowns; females have a duller appearance.

Columbina Passerine - Common Ground Dove found in the US
Columbina Passerine – Common Ground Dove. Photo by: Susan Young


These birds have a length of 6-7 in (15-18 cm) and a weight of 31 g (1.1 oz). Their wings could range from 8.75-10 in (22-25 cm).


Primarily seeds. Feeds on a variety of seeds, including grass and weed seeds, as well as waste grain in farm fields. Additionally, it consumes tiny fruits and berries, as well as certain insects.


The common ground dove prefers wide places that are densely forested with trees and plants. Additionally, they are found in woods with sandy patches, farmlands, savannahs, and locations next to human infrastructure. While common ground doves appear to defend territory, they are seldom violent toward invaders.


The small ground dove is a quiet and unassuming bird that prefers wide, bushy areas in the southern states. When frightened, it flies into the undergrowth with a fluttering rattle, revealing a black jacket tail and rusty-red flashes in the wings.

Common Ground Dove Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Columbiformes
  • Family: Columbidae
  • Genus: Columbina
  • Species: Columbina Passerina


There are 17 subspecies recognized in these species.

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds is all year round, regardless of the season. This refers to any month of the year between January and December.

Distribution of the Common Ground Dove in the USA

It is found in the southeastern United States, the majority of Mexico, portions of Central America, the Caribbean islands, and northwest South America. The common ground dove does not migrate and remains year-round in the habitats where it is found.

The Common Ground-Dove can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Columbina Passerina – Common Ground Dove

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