Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Bare-faced Ground-dove (Metriopelia ceciliae)


French: Colombe de Cécile German: Nacktgesichttäubchen Spanish: Palomita cascabelita

Columba (Chamœpelia) Ceciliœ

[sic] Lesson

, 1845,



Formerly placed with M. morenoi in a separate genus, Gymnopelia. Race zimmeri commonly listed as gymnops, but this name is preoccupied. Race obsoleta doubtfully valid. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. c. ceciliae (Lesson, 1845) – Andes of W Peru.
  • M. c. obsoleta (J. T. Zimmer, 1924) – E Peruvian Andes in upper Marañón Valley and its tributaries S to Apurímac.
  • M. c. zimmeri J. L. Peters, 1937 – extreme S Peru (S Arequipa and Puno) and adjacent Bolivia S to N Chile (Tarapacá) and NW Argentina (Salta, Jujuy).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; c. 66 g. Drab brown or greyish brown above, feathers tipped white or buffish; light tips on wing-coverts and secondaries larger than on other feathers, giving... read more


    Vocalizations are not well known. The most familiar sound made is non-vocal, the rattling... read more


    Puna and arid temperate zones; Andean slopes and Altiplano usually at 2000–4500 m,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Virtually nothing recorded. Feeds on the ground, usually in small parties.


    Eggs have been found in Mar in Chile, and in winter in Lima, Peru. Nest placed on the ground or in cliffs, or in holes in buildings.


    May descend seasonally to 600 m in some valleys, and occasionally to sea-level in S Peru.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Considered to be common throughout most of its range; local but fairly common in N Chile and uncommon in NW Argentina. Has not obviously suffered... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Bare-faced Ground-dove (Metriopelia ceciliae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).