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Inca Dove

Columbina inca ORDER: COLUMBIFORMES FAMILY: COLUMBIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A small tropical dove of arid areas, the Inca Dove has become a common resident of urban areas of the Southwest. It has expanded its breeding range northward and southward, but has remained attracted to towns and cities.

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Appearance

Doves
Doves
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small dove.
  • Light brown body.
  • Dark brown feather edging gives a scaly appearance.
  • Long tail with square tip and white outer tail feathers.
  • Rufous in wings visible in flight.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to adult, but less scaly.

Range Map Help

Inca Dove Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

  • Adult

    Inca Dove

    Adult
    • Small brown dove
    • Distinctive scaly pattern throughout
    • Long tail
    • © Stephen Ramirez, Texas, January 2010
  • Adult

    Inca Dove

    Adult
    • Small, scaly dove
    • Light brown overall
    • Long, square-tipped tail
    • © Tripp Davenport, Big Springs Ranch, Real County, Texas, June 2009
  • Adult

    Inca Dove

    Adult
    • Small, slender dove
    • Distinctive scaly pattern
    • Long tail with white outer feathers
    • © Greg Page, High Island, Texas, June 2010
  • Adult

    Inca Dove

    Adult
    • Petite, pale brown dove
    • Scaly overall
    • Long, square-tipped tail
    • © Mikael Behrens, Austin, Texas, August 2008
  • Adult

    Inca Dove

    Adult
    • Small, pale brown dove
    • Bright rufous on under-wings
    • Long tail
    • © Greg Page, South Llano River State Park, Texas, May 2010
  • Adult

    Inca Dove

    Adult
    • Small, pale-brown dove
    • Distinct scaly pattern
    • Long, square-tipped tail
    • © Stephen Ramirez, Texas, February 2010
  • Adults

    Inca Dove

    Adults
    • Small, pale brown doves
    • Often seen "fluffed up" in cold weather
    • Long, square-tipped tails with white outer feathers
    • © Stephen Ramirez, Texas, March 2010

Similar Species

  • Adult

    Mourning Dove

    Adult
    • Larger and stockier than Inca Dove
    • No scaling
    • Tapering, pointed tail
    • Black mark on cheeks
    • © Douglas K. Davis, Mosinee, Wisconsin, February 2007
  • Adult

    Common Ground-Dove

    Adult
    • Smaller and stockier than Inca Dove
    • Short tail
    • Scaly pattern only on head and neck, not on body
    • Spots on wings
    • © Mark Eden/GBBC, Florida, February 2011

Backyard Tips

This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

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