Sunday, February 9, 2014

Common Ground-Dove

Common Ground-Doves are often found in pairs or small flocks, but can be hard to see as their grayish-brown plumage blends in with the ground. People may not notice Common Ground-Doves until the birds flush into nearby brush, displaying rich chestnut wing patches as they fly. When people do spot these tiny, short-tailed doves, they sometimes mistake them for sparrows. You might hear a repetitive moaning call even if the bird is well concealed in the bushes.

They may be abundant, but we don't see many doves in this area.  A few weeks ago, a pair of gray doves were seen perching on a light pole for a couple of days then they moved on.  Occasionally I see a dove or two foraging in the front yard for a few minutes but that's about the extent of it.  

I happened to be outdoors early one morning when this Common Ground-Dove visited for a little while.  He foraged the ground briefly then decided to hang out on the wooden rails along the sidewalk.  He appeared to be quite comfortable in his surroundings, even in the company of several goldfinches and chickadees.  I was surprised that he didn't seem to mind the sound of the shutter release button on my camera.  After a while he flew to the edge of our roof overlooking the porch where he stayed a little bit longer.  Since then, I've looked for his return, but haven't seen him...

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