8 beautiful doves in Arizona 

Welcome to the breathtaking landscapes of Arizona, where nature unfolds its splendid wonders. Amidst the majestic deserts and towering mesas, there exists a realm of tranquillity and grace, embodied by the elegant inhabitants of the skies – doves. In this enchanting corner of the Southwest, eight beautiful doves in Arizona have found their haven, painting the arid landscapes with their vibrant hues and enchanting melodies. 

From the iconic Mourning Dove to the elusive Inca Dove, join us as we embark on a journey to discover the ethereal beauty of these 8 beautiful doves in Arizona  that grace the arid expanses of Arizona. Prepare to be captivated by their delicate forms, melodious symphonies, and the spellbinding charm they bring to this sun-kissed paradise. Let us immerse ourselves in the world of these eight beautiful doves and unlock the secrets of their existence in the desert realm of Arizona.

To fully immerse you in the captivating world of Arizona’s beautiful doves, here are some tips and practices to enhance your observation experience:

  • Research and Familiarize Yourself: Prior to your adventure, take the time to research the eight dove species found in Arizona: Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Inca Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Rock Pigeon, and Band-tailed Pigeon. Learn about their distinctive features, behaviours, and preferred habitats. This knowledge will help you identify and appreciate each species more effectively.
  • Timing and Location: Doves are most active during the early morning and late afternoon, so plan your observations accordingly. Visit their preferred habitats, such as desert washes, open woodlands, urban areas, and agricultural fields, where food sources and nesting sites are abundant. Popular locations for dove watching in Arizona include the Tonto National Forest, Saguaro National Park, and the Sonoran Desert National Monument.
  • Respect Their Habitat: When observing doves, it is crucial to minimize disturbances and respect their natural environment. Stay on designated trails, maintain a reasonable distance, and avoid any actions that could disrupt their feeding, mating, or nesting behaviours. By doing so, you ensure the well-being of these magnificent birds and their habitats.
  • Binoculars and Field Guides: Invest in a good pair of binoculars to bring doves closer to your view, allowing you to appreciate their intricate details and behaviours without disturbing them. Carry a field guide specific to Arizona’s birds, which will provide valuable information on dove species, their calls, and distinct field marks to aid in accurate identification.
  • Be Patient and Observant: Observing doves requires patience and a keen eye. Find a comfortable spot where you can sit quietly and remain still for extended periods. Doves may appear timid at first, but with patience, you will witness their fascinating courtship displays, graceful flights, and gentle cooing songs. Observe their feeding patterns and interactions with other birds, noting any unique behaviours or interactions.
  • Listen to Their Calls: Doves are known for their melodic cooing calls. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the distinct vocalizations of each species. By listening carefully, you can identify different calls and locate doves even when they are hidden from view. Smartphone apps or online resources can help you learn and recognize their various calls.
  • Document and Share: Capture the beauty of these doves through photography or sketching, allowing you to cherish the memories and share them with others. Use your observations to contribute to citizen science projects or bird watching communities, helping to increase knowledge and conservation efforts for these remarkable birds.
  • Leave No Trace: As you explore Arizona’s natural wonders, always follow the principles of Leave No Trace. Respect the environment by not disturbing nesting sites, collecting litter, or leaving any trace of your visit. By practicing responsible outdoor ethics, you help preserve the delicate balance of the ecosystem for future generations to enjoy.

List of 8 beautiful doves in Arizona: 

  1. Common Ground-Dove
  2. Rock Pigeon
  3. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Band-tailed Pigeon
  6. White-winged Dove
  7. Inca Dove
  8. Ruddy Ground-Dove

1. Common Ground-Dove

Scientific name: Columbina passerina

Size: The Common Ground-Dove is a small bird, about the size of a sparrow. It measures about 6.5 inches in length

How to identify

  • Body colour: The Common Ground-Dove has a greyish-brown body with a white belly. The male has a pinkish wash on the head, neck, and chest, and bluish crowns; females are duller. Both sexes have fine, dark scaling on the neck and chest, and pinkish-red bills with a dark tip.
  • Tail: The Common Ground-Dove has a short, square-tipped tail.
  • Head: The Common Ground-Dove has a small head with a pink-red bill.

Habitat: Here are some of the specific habitats where you might see Common Ground-Doves in Arizona:

  • Fields: Common Ground-Doves are often seen in fields of corn, wheat, and other grains. They also frequent fields of weeds and grasses.
  • Meadows: Common Ground-Doves are also found in meadows, where they feed on seeds and insects. They are often seen walking or running through the meadows, looking for food.
  • Parks: Common Ground-Doves are common visitors to parks, where they feed on seeds and insects. They are also attracted to bird feeders, where they will eat a variety of seeds and grains.
  • Backyards: Common Ground-Doves are also sometimes seen in backyards, where they feed on seeds and insects. They are attracted to bird feeders, and they will also eat spilled grain from bird feeders.

Diet: The Common Ground-Dove is a seedeater, and its diet consists of a variety of seeds, including grasses, weeds, and fruits. It also eats insects, such as beetles, ants, and grasshoppers.

Here is a more detailed list of the foods that Common Ground-Doves eat:

  • Seeds: Common Ground-Doves eat a variety of seeds, including those of grasses, weeds, and fruits. Some of their favourite seeds include millet, corn, wheat, and milo.
  • Insects: Common Ground-Doves also eat insects, such as beetles, ants, and grasshoppers. They typically eat insects that are found on the ground, but they will also eat insects that are found in trees and shrubs.
  • Berries: Common Ground-Doves will also eat berries, such as mulberries, blackberries, and raspberries. They typically eat berries that are found on the ground, but they will also eat berries that are found in trees and shrubs.

Lifespan: The lifespan of a Common Ground-Dove in Arizona is typically 3-5 years.

Wingspan: The wingspan of a Common Ground-Dove is typically 10 inches.

Calls: The Common Ground-Dove is a quiet bird, and it does not make a lot of noise. However, it does have a distinctive call that is often described as a “moaning coo.” This call is typically given by males to attract mates, and it can also be given by females to communicate with their mates.

Seasons: The Common Ground-Dove is a year-round resident in Arizona. However, the breeding season for Common Ground-Doves in Arizona is typically from spring to summer, from March to August.

2. Rock Pigeon

Scientific name: Columba livia

Size: The Rock Pigeon, beautiful dove in Arizona, is a medium-sized bird, typically measuring 29 to 37 centimetres (11 to 15 inches) in length

How to identify: The Rock Pigeon has a pale grey body with two black bars on each wing. The head is typically grey with a pink or bluish cere (the fleshy covering at the base of the upper beak). The eyes are dark brown.

Habitat: Here are some of the specific habitats where Rock Pigeons can be found in Arizona:

  • Urban areas: Rock Pigeons are very common in urban areas, where they can be seen nesting on buildings, bridges, and other structures. They are also attracted to food sources such as garbage dumps and bird feeders.
  • Parks and gardens: Rock Pigeons are also found in parks and gardens, where they feed on seeds, fruits, and insects. They are often seen in flocks, and they can be quite tame.
  • Fields and farmland: Rock Pigeons are also found in fields and farmland, where they feed on grain and other crops. They are less common in these areas than in urban areas, but they can still be seen.
  • Roadsides: Rock Pigeons are sometimes found along roadsides, where they feed on insects and seeds. They are also attracted to roadkill, and they can often be seen scavenging on dead animals.

Diet: The Rock Pigeon, beautiful dove in Arizona, is an omnivorous bird and its diet consists of a variety of foods, including:

  • Seeds: Rock Pigeons eat a variety of seeds, including grains, grasses, and fruits. They are often seen feeding on birdseed at feeders.
  • Insects: Rock Pigeons also eat insects, such as beetles, flies, and caterpillars. They will often scavenge for insects in garbage dumps and other areas where food is plentiful.
  • Fruits: Rock Pigeons will also eat fruits, such as berries, grapes, and figs. They are often seen feeding on fruit in orchards and gardens.
  • Vegetables: Rock Pigeons will also eat vegetables, such as corn, peas, and beans. They are often seen feeding on vegetable scraps in garbage dumps and other areas where food is plentiful.
  • Animal matter: Rock Pigeons will occasionally eat animal matter, such as snails, worms, and small fish. They are also attracted to roadkill, and they can often be seen scavenging on dead animals.

Lifespan: The lifespan of a Rock Pigeon, beautiful dove in Arizona, is typically 3-5 years in the wild.

Wingspan: The wingspan of a Rock Pigeon, beautiful dove in Arizona, is typically 62 to 72 centimetres (24 to 28 inches).

Calls: The Rock Pigeon, beautiful dove in Arizona, has a variety of calls, including:

  • Cooing: The most common call of the Rock Pigeon is a soft, guttural cooing sound. This call is used for a variety of purposes, including communication with other Rock Pigeons, attracting mates, and defending territory.
  • Purring: Rock Pigeons also make a purring sound, which is often used as a greeting or as a way to show affection.
  • Screaming: Rock Pigeons can also make a loud, high-pitched screaming sound, which is often used as a warning call or as a way to express fear or distress.
  • Wing-clapping: Rock Pigeons sometimes clap their wings together, which makes a loud noise. This noise is often used as a territorial display or as a way to attract mates.

Seasons: Rock Pigeons, beautiful dove in Arizona, can be seen year-round. However, there are some seasonal changes in their behaviour and appearance.

  • In the spring, Rock Pigeons will start to build nests and lay eggs. The breeding season for Rock Pigeons in Arizona typically runs from March to July.
  • During the breeding season, Rock Pigeons will become more territorial and aggressive. They will also start to coo more often, as this is how they attract mates.
  • In the summer, Rock Pigeons will molt, which means they will shed their old feathers and grow new ones. This process can take several weeks.
  • During the molt, Rock Pigeons will look scruffy and their feathers may be a different colour than usual. However, their new feathers will eventually grow in and they will look like their normal selves again.
  • In the fall, Rock Pigeons will start to gather in flocks. These flocks can be quite large, and they often travel long distances.
  • In the winter, Rock Pigeons will migrate to warmer climates. However, some Rock Pigeons will stay in Arizona year-round.

Overall, Rock Pigeons are a very adaptable bird and can be seen year-round in Arizona. Their behaviour and appearance may change slightly depending on the season, but they are a common sight in the state.

3. Eurasian Collared-Dove

Scientific name: Streptopelia decaocto

Size: The Eurasian collared-dove is a medium-sized dove, about 12 to 14 inches long

How to identify: The Eurasian collared-dove has a greyish-buff body with a black collar rimmed in white. The tail is squared off and white on the underside.

Habitat: Here are some specific habitats where you can find Eurasian collared-doves in Arizona:

  • Urban areas: Eurasian collared-doves are often seen in parks, gardens, and other open areas in urban areas. They are attracted to the availability of food and water in these areas.
  • Farmland: Eurasian collared-doves are also common in farmland, where they feed on grain crops. They are often seen perched on fence posts or wires, watching for predators.
  • Woodlands: Eurasian collared-doves can also be found in woodlands, but they are less common in these areas. They are more likely to be found in open areas within woodlands, such as clearings or meadows.

Diet: Here are some of the foods that Eurasian collared-doves eat in Arizona:

  • Grains: Corn, wheat, millet, milo, and sorghum are all common foods for Eurasian collared-doves. They will also eat spilled grain from farms and feedlots.
  • Nuts: Eurasian collared-doves will eat peanuts, sunflower seeds, and other nuts. They will also eat fruit pits and seeds.
  • Berries: Eurasian collared-doves will eat wild berries, such as mulberries and blackberries. They will also eat cultivated berries, such as grapes and cherries.
  • Insects: Eurasian collared-doves will eat insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars. They will also eat spiders and snails. 

Lifespan: the average lifespan of a Eurasian collared-dove in Arizona is 5 to 7 years.

Wingspan: The wingspan of a Eurasian collared-dove in Arizona is typically between 14 and 16 inches.

Calls: Here are some of the other calls that Eurasian collared-doves make:

  • Alarm call: A loud hwaah sound that is given when the bird is startled or feels threatened.
  • Nesting call: A soft cooing sound that is given by females when they are building their nests.
  • Begging call: A high-pitched chirping sound that is given by young doves when they are begging for food.

Seasons: Here are the seasons for hunting Eurasian collared-doves in Arizona:

  • Early season: September 1-15
  • Late season: November 19-January 2

4. Mourning Dove

Scientific name: Zenaida macroura.

Size: The size of the Mourning Dove in Arizona is about 30.5 centimetres (12 inches) in length

How to identify: Mourning Doves have a greyish-brown body with a paler breast and belly. They have a long, slender tail with black tips. The male has a more iridescent head and neck than the female.

  • Short legs: Mourning Doves have short legs, which makes them look top-heavy.
  • Small bill: The Mourning Dove has a small, black bill.
  • Head: The head of the Mourning Dove is small in comparison to the body.
  • Tail: The tail of the Mourning Dove is long and pointed.

Habitat: The Mourning Dove is a common bird throughout Arizona and can be found in a variety of habitats, including:

  • Deserts: Mourning Doves are often seen in desert areas, where they can find food and water. They are also known to nest in cacti and other desert plants.
  • Forests: Mourning Doves can also be found in forests, where they can find food and shelter. They are often seen near water sources, such as streams and ponds.
  • Urban areas: Mourning Doves are also common in urban areas, where they can find food and water at bird feeders and in parks. They are often seen perched on telephone wires or in other open areas.

Diet: The Mourning Dove is a granivore, meaning that it eats mostly seeds. Its diet consists of a variety of seeds, including grains, grasses, and weeds. They also eat some fruits, insects, and snails.

Lifespan: The lifespan of a Mourning Dove in Arizona is typically 1 to 1.5 years.

Wingspan: The wingspan of a Mourning Dove in Arizona is typically 37-45 centimetres (14.6-17.7 inches).

Calls: Here are some of the different calls that Mourning Doves make in Arizona:

  • Perch-coo: This is the most common call of the Mourning Dove. It is a series of 3-5 cooing notes that are given by the male to attract a mate.
  • Nest call: This call is given by the male while he is building a nest. It is a three-parted call that is made up of a coo, a pause, and then another coo.
  • Alarm call: This call is made by both males and females when they are alarmed. It is a loud, raspy call that is often given when a predator is nearby.
  • Food call: This call is made by both males and females when they are looking for food. It is a soft, warbling call that is often given when they are near a bird feeder.

Seasons: The Mourning Dove is a year-round resident in Arizona. However, there are two distinct seasons for hunting mourning doves in Arizona:

  • Early Season: This season runs from September 1st to September 15th. During this time, hunters can take any combination of mourning and white-winged doves, with a daily bag limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45.
  • Late Season: This season runs from November 18th to January 1st. During this time, hunters can only take mourning doves, with a daily bag limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45.

5. Band-tailed Pigeon

Scientific name: Patagioenas fasciata

Size: The band-tailed pigeon dove in Arizona is a medium-sized bird, measuring about 13 to 16 inches in length

How to identify

  • Band-tailed pigeons have a soft blue-grey plumage on their upper body and a purplish-grey plumage on their under body. They have a white crescent on the back of their neck. The upper half of their tail is grey, fading to a pale grey band at the tip. Their wings are unmarked pale grey with dark wingtips noticeable in flight.
  • Bill and feet: The bill of a band-tailed pigeon is yellow, with a black tip. The feet are also yellow.

Habitat: Here are some of the habitats where you can find band-tailed pigeons in Arizona:

  • Mountain forests: Band-tailed pigeons are most common in the mountains, where they find a variety of food sources, including acorns, berries, and seeds. They are also attracted to areas with large trees, where they can build their nests.
  • Riparian areas: Band-tailed pigeons are also found in riparian areas, where they can find food and water. They are often seen feeding in willows and cottonwoods, and they may also nest in these areas.
  • Forested suburbs: Band-tailed pigeons are increasingly being seen in forested suburbs, where they find food and shelter. They are attracted to backyard birdfeeders, and they may also nest in trees or shrubs in these areas.

Diet: Here is a more detailed list of what band-tailed pigeons eat in Arizona:

  • Acorns: Acorns are a major part of the band-tailed pigeon’s diet in the fall and winter. They will often eat acorns from oak trees, such as black oak, white oak, and Gambel oak.
  • Berries: Band-tailed pigeons eat a variety of berries, including elderberries, manzanitas, juniper berries, and wild grapes. They will often eat berries from shrubs and trees, such as elderberry bushes, manzanita trees, and juniper trees.
  • Seeds: Band-tailed pigeons eat a variety of seeds, including pine seeds, fir seeds, and spruce seeds. They will often eat seeds from cones and pods, such as pine cones, fir cones, and spruce cones.
  • Fruits: Band-tailed pigeons may also eat other fruits, such as apples, pears, and plums. They will often eat fruits from trees and shrubs, such as apple trees, pear trees, and plum trees.
  • Insects: In the spring and summer, band-tailed pigeons may also eat insects, such as caterpillars and ants. They will often eat insects from the ground or from trees.

Lifespan: The lifespan of a band-tailed pigeon dove in Arizona is typically 10-15 years,

Wingspan: The wingspan of a Band-tailed Pigeon dove in Arizona is 66 centimetres (26 inches).

Calls: Here are some of the calls of Band-tailed Pigeon doves in Arizona:

  • Cooing call: The cooing call is a series of deep, resonant notes that can be heard for long distances. It is often used to attract mates and to communicate with other band-tailed pigeons.
  • Chirping call: The chirping call is a mechanical-sounding call that is made by the male. It is thought to be used to attract mates.
  • Grunt call: The grunt call is a soft, nasal grunt that is made by both males and females. It is thought to be used to keep other individuals from crowding too closely.

Seasons: The following are the seasons of Band-tailed Pigeon doves in Arizona:

  • Spring: Band-tailed pigeons arrive in Arizona in the spring, typically in late March or early April. They are attracted to the state’s mountains, where they find a variety of food sources, including acorns, berries, and seeds. They also build their nests in the mountains during this time.
  • Summer: Band-tailed pigeons breed in the summer, typically from May to July. They lay 1 to 2 eggs, and the young birds fledge after about 25 to 30 days.
  • Fall: Band-tailed pigeons start to migrate south in the fall, typically in September or October. They head to the Pacific Northwest and California, where they spend the winter.

6. White-winged Dove

Scientific name: Zenaida asiatica.

Size: The white-winged dove is a medium-sized bird, about 29 centimetres (11 inches) long from tip to tail. 

How to identify:  The white-winged dove has a greyish-brown body with a white crescent on each wing. The head is paler, with a blue eyering and red eyes. The legs and feet are pink.

Habitat: The white-winged dove is a common sight in Arizona, and it can be found in a variety of habitats, including:

  • Desert scrub: The white-winged dove is often found in desert scrub, where it can find food and water. It is also found in other arid habitats, such as grasslands and thorny forests.
  • Mesquite bosques: The white-winged dove is also found in mesquite bosques, which are areas of trees and shrubs that are common in Arizona. Mesquite bosques provide the white-winged dove with food, shelter, and nesting sites.
  • Urban areas: The white-winged dove has also adapted to urban areas, and it is now a common sight in backyards and parks. Urban areas provide the white-winged dove with food, water, and nesting sites.

Diet: The white-winged dove is an herbivore, and its diet consists of seeds, fruits, and insects. It is also known to eat cactus fruit, which is an important source of water in the desert.

Here are some of the foods that white-winged doves eat in Arizona:

  • Seeds: White-winged doves eat a variety of seeds, including those of mesquite trees, cottonwoods, and agaves. They also eat the seeds of agricultural crops, such as corn and wheat. 
  • Fruits: White-winged doves eat a variety of fruits, including those of saguaro cacti, prickly pears, and hackberries. They also eat the fruits of agricultural crops, such as grapes and tomatoes.
  • Insects: White-winged doves eat a variety of insects, including beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. They also eat the larvae of insects, such as ants and termites.
  • Cactus fruit: White-winged doves are known to eat the fruit of saguaro cacti, which is an important source of water in the desert. They also eat the fruit of other columnar cacti, such as organ pipe cactus and prickly pear cactus.

Lifespan: The lifespan of a white-winged dove in Arizona is typically 10-15 years.

Wingspan: The wingspan of a white-winged dove in Arizona is typically 18.9 to 22.8 centimetres (48–58 cm).

Calls: White-winged doves in Arizona make a variety of calls, including:

  • Song: The male white-winged dove’s song is a series of about nine scratchy, hooting coos that alternate between a few slurred pitches, lasting 5–6 seconds; the final coo is often longer than the rest. They sing from a high perch in an open area.
  • Begging call: The nestling white-winged dove’s begging call is a high-pitched sur-ee sound.
  • Trumpeting call: Both male and female white-winged doves make a muted trumpeting errUah call to announce and contest presence on popular preening branches and bird feeders.
  • Wing whistle: When taking off, white-winged doves often produce a staccato whir with their wings, and sometimes their wingtips make whistling sounds.

Seasons: Here are the specific seasons for white-winged doves in Arizona:

  • Spring: White-winged doves arrive in Arizona in the spring, typically in March. They start to build nests and breed during this time.
  • Summer: The white-winged dove breeding season is from March to September. During this time, the birds build nests in trees, shrubs, or on the ground. The female lays two eggs, which hatch after about 14 days. The young birds fledge after about 16 days.
  • Fall: After the breeding season, the white-winged doves begin to migrate south for the winter. They typically leave Arizona in September or October.
  • Winter: White-winged doves spend their winters in Mexico and Central America. They return to Arizona in the spring.

7. Inca Dove

Scientific name: Columbina inca.

Size: The Inca Dove in Arizona is a small bird, measuring about 16.5-23 cm (6.5-9.1 in) in length

How to identify: 

  • Colour: The Inca Dove is grey-brown overall, with darker brown feather tips that give it a scaly appearance. The under parts are paler than the back, and the face is greyish.
  • Tail: The Inca Dove has a long, narrow tail with white outer feathers. In flight, the under wings flash a rich chestnut and the outer tail feathers flash white.

Habitat: Here are some of the specific habitats where you might see Inca Doves in Arizona:

  • Desert scrub: This type of habitat is characterized by low-growing shrubs and trees, such as mesquite, palo verde, and saguaro cactus. Inca Doves are often seen in desert scrub areas, especially during the breeding season.
  • Grasslands: This type of habitat is characterized by tall grasses and wildflowers. Inca Doves are often seen in grasslands, especially during the winter months.
  • Agricultural areas: This type of habitat includes fields, orchards, and vineyards. Inca Doves are attracted to agricultural areas because they provide food and water.

Diet: Inca doves are herbivores and their diet consists mainly of seeds, grains, and fruits. They are also known to eat insects on occasion. In Arizona, Inca doves can be found foraging in open areas, such as fields, meadows, and desert washes. They will also visit bird feeders, especially those that offer millet, milo, or cracked corn.

Here is a more detailed list of what Inca doves eat in Arizona:

  • Seeds: Inca doves eat a variety of seeds, including those from grasses, weeds, and grains. They are especially fond of millet, milo, and cracked corn.
  • Fruits: Inca doves will also eat fruits, such as those from cacti and other desert plants.
  • Insects: Inca doves will sometimes eat insects, such as beetles, ants, and grasshoppers.
  • Grit: Inca doves also need to ingest grit to help them digest their food. They will often swallow small pebbles or sand.

Lifespan: The lifespan of an Inca Dove in Arizona is typically 2-3 years.

Wingspan: The average wingspan of an Inca Dove in Arizona is 28.5 cm (11.22 in).

Calls: Here is a more detailed description of the calls of the Inca Dove:

  • No hope call: This is the most common call of the Inca Dove. It is a low, mournful coo that sounds like the bird is saying “no hope.” This call is often used to attract mates and defend territory.
  • Soft cooing: This is a softer call that is used to communicate with other Inca Doves. It is often used to stay in touch with mates or to greet other birds.
  • Squeaking: Inca Doves will sometimes squeak when they are alarmed or scared. This is a high-pitched sound that is meant to warn other birds of danger.

Seasons: Here is a more detailed breakdown of the seasons for Inca Doves in Arizona:

  • Winter: Inca Doves are less active during the winter months. They may gather in flocks and may migrate to warmer areas, but this is not always the case.
  • Spring: Inca Doves become more active in the spring. They start to build nests and raise young.
  • Summer: Inca Doves are very active during the summer months. They are raising young and feeding heavily.
  • Fall: Inca Doves become less active in the fall. They may start to migrate to warmer areas.

8. Ruddy Ground-Dove

Scientific name: Columbina talpacoti.

Size: The Ruddy Ground-Dove is a small bird, measuring about 17 cm (6.7 in) in length. 

How to identify: The Ruddy Ground-Dove is a small, plump bird with a short tail and a long neck. It has a greyish-brown head and neck, with a reddish-brown breast and belly. The wings are greyish-brown with black spots. The male has a blackish-brown crown and a white throat patch. The female has a brown crown and a buff-colored throat patch.

Habitat: The Ruddy Ground-Dove prefers open habitats with plenty of ground cover, such as shrubs, grasses, and weeds. It is also found in areas with scattered trees and bushes, where it can perch and build its nests.

Diet: The Ruddy Ground-Dove is a seed-eater, and its diet consists of a variety of seeds, including grasses, weeds, and fruits. It also eats insects and other small invertebrates.

Lifespan: The lifespan of a Ruddy Ground-Dove in Arizona is typically 3-5 years.

Wingspan:  The wingspan of a Ruddy Ground-Dove in Arizona is typically 11 inches.

Calls: The Ruddy Ground-Dove is a vocal bird, and its call is a soft, cooing sound. The male Ruddy Ground-Dove has a lower-pitched call than the female. The call is often described as a “low per-woop or h-woop” or as a “series of (usually) bisyllabic coos: cu-WHOOP cu-WHOOP cu-WHOOP …”

Seasons: Here is a more detailed look at the seasons of the Ruddy Ground-Dove in Arizona:

  • Winter: The Ruddy Ground-Dove is most common in Arizona during the winter months. This is because birds from more northern areas migrate to Arizona to escape the cold weather.
  • Spring: The Ruddy Ground-Dove begins to breed in Arizona during the spring months. The breeding season peaks in April and May.
  • Summer: The Ruddy Ground-Dove continues to breed in Arizona during the summer months. However, the breeding activity slows down as the weather gets hotter.
  • Fall: The Ruddy Ground-Dove begins to migrate back to more northern areas in the fall months. The migration peaks in September and October.

Frequently asked question – doves in Arizona 

Q: What is the most common dove species found in Arizona?

A: The most common dove species found in Arizona is the Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura). It is recognized by its soft, muted grey-brown plumage, long pointed tail, and distinctive mournful cooing call.

Q: Where can I find the White-winged Dove in Arizona?

A: White-winged Doves (Zenaida asiatica) are prevalent throughout Arizona, especially in urban areas and agricultural fields. They are known for their large size, greyish-brown feathers, and prominent white wing patches that are visible during flight.

Q: What is the size difference between the Eurasian Collared-Dove and other doves?

A: The Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is a relatively large dove species, measuring around 13-14 inches in length. It has a distinctive black half-collar on the nape of its neck and pale grey plumage.

Q: Are Inca Doves commonly seen in Arizona?

A: Yes, Inca Doves (Columbina Inca) are frequently observed in Arizona. They are small doves with a unique appearance, featuring a scaly pattern on their feathers, greyish-pink plumage, and a slender black bill. They are often found in arid habitats, including deserts and scrublands.

Q: How can I differentiate between the Common Ground-Dove and the Ruddy Ground-Dove?

A: Common Ground-Doves (Columbina passerina) and Ruddy Ground-Doves (Columbina talpacoti) are similar in size and habitat preference but can be distinguished by their plumage. Common Ground-Doves have a grey-brown back and wings, a rusty-colored patch on the wings, and a scaled appearance on the neck. Ruddy Ground-Doves, on the other hand, have a ruddy-brown overall plumage, a distinct pale face, and lack the rusty wing patch.

Q: Do Rock Pigeons occur naturally in Arizona?

A: Rock Pigeons (Columba livia) are not native to Arizona but have become established in urban and suburban areas. They are often seen in city centres, parks, and around buildings. Rock Pigeons have a bluish-grey plumage, two dark wing bars, and a characteristic white rump.

Q: Where can I spot Band-tailed Pigeons in Arizona?

A: Band-tailed Pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata) can be found in mountainous regions and pine-oak woodlands of Arizona, particularly during their breeding season. They are larger than most other dove species, have a pale grey plumage, and display a distinctive pale band across their tail.

Q: Are these doves commonly found in residential areas or only in specific habitats?

A: Many of these dove species, such as the Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, and Rock Pigeon, are often found in residential areas and urban environments. However, specific dove species, like the Inca Dove and Band-tailed Pigeon, are more commonly associated with specific habitats like deserts, scrublands, and mountainous regions.

Q: What do these dove species eat?

A: Dove species in Arizona primarily feed on seeds, grains, fruits, and occasionally insects. They are ground foragers and can often be seen pecking at the ground or visiting bird feeders to obtain their food.

Q: Do any of these dove species migrate?

A: While some dove species, like the Mourning Dove and White-winged Dove, are known to migrate, others, such as the Eurasian Collared-D.

CONCLUSION: 

The presence of eight beautiful doves in Arizona adds a touch of grace and tranquillity to the vibrant landscape of this south-western state. These magnificent birds, known for their elegance and gentle nature, captivate the hearts of those fortunate enough to witness their flight. With their distinctive cooing melodies and graceful movements, the doves bring a sense of harmony and serenity to the Arizona skies. Their soft, muted colours blend harmoniously with the desert hues, creating a picturesque scene that truly embodies the natural beauty of the region.

Ultimately, the presence of eight beautiful doves in Arizona is a reminder of the wondrous diversity found in nature and the importance of preserving and appreciating these treasures. Their ethereal presence invites us to pause, reflect, and marvel at the beauty that surrounds us, reminding us of the delicate balance and interconnectedness of all living things in our world.

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