Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Inca Dove (Columbina inca)


French: Colombe inca German: Inkatäubchen Spanish: Tortolita mexicana

Chamaepelia inca


, 1847,



Although this species and closely related C. squammata are sometimes placed in Scardafella on grounds of vocal and display characteristics#R#R, recent genetic data indicate that that genus is embedded within Columbina#R#R, as proposed earlier on basis of morphology and behaviour#R. Monotypic.


SW & SC USA (SE California and S Nevada E to SW Kansas and SW Louisiana) S through much of Mexico and N Central America to NW Costa Rica.

Descriptive notes

Male 19–22 cm, female 19–22 cm; 30–58 g. Forehead pinkish grey becoming brownish pink on crown, face and neck; upperparts greyish brown, lighter on wings;... read more


Song is a series of relatively loud burry-sounding double notes "pow-pu....pow-pu...pow-pu... read more


Prefers dry areas, brushy woodland, semi-open to open areas from sea-level up to 2400 m, to 3000 m... read more

Food and feeding

Little information available on diet; takes cultivated grain where available, e.g. maize and corn. Reported visiting Agave salmiana... read more


Late Feb to Oct in USA; May and Jul in Jalisco and mid-Mar to early Oct in Hidalgo (Mexico); Mar–Aug, but also to Dec, in Costa Rica... read more


Essentially sedentary, but winter vagrants have been recorded to the north of the normal range in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. No precise details available on population sizes, but species is generally common throughout most of its sizeable range. It is common to fairly... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Inca Dove (Columbina inca). 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 6 December 2019).