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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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Both sexes vocalize with males having a lower pitch than females. Their song is described as a "low per-woop or h-woop" (Howell and Webb 1995) or as a "series of (usually) bisyllabic coos: cu-WHOOP cu-WHOOP cu-WHOOP ..." (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2007).  Males sometimes also give a too-oo-woo with emphasis on the last note (Skutch 1956, Kenefick et al. 2007). The song is repeated up to 10 times in 7 seconds. Pairs give a low coo call to mates (Stiles and Skutch 1989). This species can likely be heard throughout the year because of its year-round breeding cycle (Sibley 2001a). Males call from perches. Females have been observed calling while on the nest (Skutch 1956). Although not noted for this species, most doves call from the ground as well. Songs and calls are given in courtship displays, territorial defense, and pair-bond maintenance.

Doves are one of the few groups of non-passerines to be well studied with respect to vocal development. Doves apparently are hard-wired to their call development, that is, vocalizations are genetically determined and not learned from a parent or other nearby doves (Lade and Thorpe 1964). Ruddy Ground-Doves vocalize at a frequency between 429 and 527 Hz (Tubaro and Mahler 1998).

No information on geographic variation, daily patterns, repertoire and delivery of songs, or species recognition.

Nonvocal Sounds

These doves make a whirring sound when they take off from the ground after being disturbed (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001). Males clap their wings together in courtship, which produces sound (Haverschmidt 1953).

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