Ruddy Ground-Dove
Blythe, Riverside County
Friday, 23 November 2001
Joseph Morlan

Photo © 2002 by David Nelson
Robbie Fischer and I saw three Ruddy Ground-Doves in a residential area outside of Mayflower Park in Blythe, where they associated with a large flock of Inca Doves and a few Common Ground-Doves. We saw one male and two females together in this area. One of the females had no tail.

The male was an overall ruddy color with black spots forming rows across the wing coverts and scapulars. It had a contrasting blue-gray crown and nape. The females were duller and one of the females showed a glint of red in her eye when the sun hit it. Compared to the birds seen yesterday at Furnace Creek, these birds were very similar. I noticed that the bills were all dark gray or blackish and decidedly down-curved. No pinkish color was evident on their bills as on the Common Ground-Doves, but the female Common Ground-Doves showed very little pink on the bill.

The best mark was lack of any scaling about the head and neck on the Ruddy Ground-Doves and the more extensive black markings on the scapulars. The Common Ground-Doves had these markings dark brown rather than black and had no markings on the scapulars as on the Ruddy Ground-Doves.