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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Inca Dove -- Columbina inca

RANGE: Resident from extreme southeastern California, central Arizona, southern New Mexico, and central Texas south to Costa Rica.

STATUS: Common to abundant.

HABITAT: Primarily found in the vicinity of human habitations, especially around introduced broad-leaved deciduous trees, exotic conifers, and native live oaks in areas with little or no understory. Inhabits poultry and livestock feedlots, yards, gardens, orchards, school grounds, city parks, and roads through brushy mesquite pastures, usually near a source of water. Roosts in evergreen trees.

NEST: Nests on a horizontal fork or flattened tree limb or in a bush, 4 to 25 feet above ground in a brushy pasture, or more often in the immediate vicinity of houses. Builds nests in native shrubs (including catclaw and chollas), in baldcypress, in shade trees, on top of utility poles, in hanging baskets near a house, and sometimes in nests of other species including mourning doves, mockingbirds, and cactus wrens. Generally uses nests for 2 or more consecutive nestings.

FOOD: Feeds almost entirely on the ground, taking seeds of a wide variety of native plants. Eats wheat, cracked corn, oats, and milo readily if available.

REFERENCES: Anderson and Anderson 1948, Harrison 1979, Johnston 1960, Oberholser 1974a.

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