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Ruddy Ground-Doves are appropriately named after the bright ruddy-colored plumage of the male, which makes them distinctive from males of other ground-doves. There are four subspecies ranging from northern Mexico south to eastern Peru and northern Argentina. Some geographic variation in plumage occurs with individuals in drier western areas being paler than those in wetter eastern areas.
This is a versatile species occupying open, wet habitats from riparian areas to suburban yards. Open areas, often bare ground, are used for finding seeds on the ground, their main food source. They are prolific breeders capable of breeding year-round in parts of their range and produce multiple broods, up to four broods per year. Given their flexibility in habitat use and rapid reproduction, Ruddy Ground-Doves are common throughout their range and are in the lowest threat category recognized by BirdLife International.