Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-

Common name:

Common Ground-dove

Scientific name: Columbina passerina
Date: 6-19-05
Time: 9:00 AM
Length of time observed: 2 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Female
Location: Lytle Ranch
County: Washington
Distance to bird: 50 feet
Optical equipment: 10x42 B&L Elites
Weather: Sunny skies, calm and hot!
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: Small dove
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Compact dove. Short neck and tail
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Grayish
(Description:)            Bill Type: Short and thin
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Grayish head, back and underparts. Very faint scaling on the upper breast and neck. The upperside of the wings (while the bird was perched) were gray with dark spots on them. I couldn't tell if they were on the scapulars or just on the coverts from the views that I had. While the bird was in flight the underside of the wings and the primaries from above were bright rufous.  The tail was short compared to the size of the bird and the upperside looked about the same color as the back. I didn't notice what the underside looked like. The bill was two toned pink at the base. I didn't notice the color of the legs.
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: The bird flew in and landed in a mesquite tree. It sat there for a couple minutes then flew off low in front of me around the small pond out of sight. I spent 2 hours looking for it but never did see it
Habitat: Desert scrub.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The most similar bird that would be possible is the Ruddy Ground-dove. Which when I first saw this bird facing away from me is what I was thinking this bird might be. But when it turned
towards me I could see the very faint scaling on the upper breast and neck and noticed the two toned bill. Which should eliminate Ruddy although I'm not sure what a juvenile Ruddy would look like at that time of year. But I wouldn't think one would be that far north in juvenile plumage. The very limited scaling and the short tail eliminates an Inca Dove.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've seen a lot of Common Ground-doves and quite a few Ruddy Ground-doves.
References consulted: Sibley
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Larry Tripp
Observer's address: 131 N. Butch Cassidy Trl Central, UT. 84722
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 10-21-05
Additional material:  
Additional comments: