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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti

Julie A. Hart
Version: 1.0 — Published May 20, 2011

Diet and Foraging


Main food taken

Mainly eats seeds ranging in size from 2-15 mm in length. While mainly a seed-eating species, snails and insects are also occasionally consumed (Cintra 1988).

Quantitative analysis

A diet study in Brazil determined 20% of all seeds consumed to be of the grass Brachiaria plantaginea (Cintra et al. 1990). Other seed species consumed by adult doves are those of Eleusine indica and Paspalum spp., while nestlings consume larger quantities of Talinum patens, Oxalis spp., Euphorbia spp., and Eleusine indica (Cintra et al. 1990).

Microhabitat for foraging

Requires open and bare ground to forage.

Food capture and consumption

Often feeds in small groups up to 20 individuals although groups of 200 have been recorded (Skutch 1956, Baptista et al. 1997). Captures food by pecking seeds off the ground and swallowing (Cintra 1988).

Food selection and storage

All columbids store food temporarily in their crop. Grit in their gizzard is then used to grind down the food at a later time (Sibley 2001a). The ability to store large amounts of food in the crop allows brief foraging bouts, after which the ground-dove may retreat to cover. In places where food is abundant, they often spend long periods resting between short but very active periods of foraging.

Nutrition and energetics

Not studied.

Metabolism and temperature regulation

Not studied.

Drinking, pellet-casting, and defecation

All columbids drink by immersing their bill under water and sucking. Also, because of the dry foods it consumes, this species likely drinks a high quantity of water (Sibley 2001a). Defecation has not been described for this species.

Foraging Behavior

Recommended Citation

Hart, J. A. (2011). Ruddy Ground-Dove (Columbina talpacoti), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.rugdov.01