Gold-billed Ground Dove
AKA: Croaking Ground Dove, Peruvian Ground Dove
©Dr Ivano Pelicella
Distribution: Found in arid to semi humid areas such as dry deciduous woodlands, open hilly areas, open agricultural lands; also is found in suburban gardens & parks along the Pacific coast of South America from southern Ecuador to northern Chile and along the entire length of the Peruvian coast.
Description: (Prevost 1843). Length 15 cm. head bluish grey shading to soft brownish grey on upperparts & darker on the central tail feathers; wing shields pale pinkish grey having dark purple to blue black spots; some of the wing coverts have reddish purple tips which form a short bar across the upper part of the wing shield; underwing greyish with pinkish center & dark black underwing coverts; breast & underparts are mauve pink. Outer tail feathers black with narrow white tips. iris reddish brown, red or yellowish with white inner ring, sometimes inner rings of red brown, black, blue or yellowish can be seen; eye cere yellow, bill yellow golden yellow or orange with a black tip. Females lack the bluish grey head & the pinkish hues of the male; is more of a light brown on top & pale creamy brown or light greyish brown on underside. Juvenile resembles the female with the juvenile males being a much darker color; both have pale ill defined buff feather edges.
Nesting: Clutch two white eggs; incubation 13-14 days; juveniles fledge within two weeks.
Notes: This species loves dust bathing & water bathing in captivity. Quick visual sexing tip: Males: grey head, mauve/pinkish breast; females brown head sandy colored breast.