Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Plain-breasted Ground-dove (Columbina minuta)


French: Colombe pygmée German: Zwergtäubchen Spanish: Columbina menuda
Other common names: Plain Ground-dove, Little Ground-dove

Columba minuta


, 1766,



Formerly placed in genus Columbigallina. Closely related to C. passerina; the two overlap in range in some areas. Race amazilia doubtfully distinct from nominate. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. interrupta (Griscom, 1929) – S Mexico (S Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Guerrero and locally Jalisco), S Guatemala and Belize S to Nicaragua.
  • C. m. elaeodes (Todd, 1913) – Costa Rica S through E Panama and Canal Zone to WC Colombia.
  • C. m. minuta (Linnaeus, 1766) – Venezuela E to Trinidad and the Guianas, and S through E Colombia patchily to Peru (Urubamba Valley), E & C Brazil and Bolivia, and on to SC Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones).
  • C. m. amazilia (Bonaparte, 1855) – arid coastal regions of SW Ecuador and W Peru (S to Lima).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 14–15 cm, female 14·5–16 cm; 26–42·2 g. Very similar in coloration and markings to C. passerina but lacks scaling on head and... read more


    Song is a series of evenly-spaced, low-pitched upslurred cooing notes “whoop....whoop....whoop...”... read more


    Lowlands and foothills, in arid sandy areas with scrub, light acacia woodland with open understorey... read more

    Food and feeding

    Very little known, but appears to feed mainly on grass seeds; the stomach contents of a bird in Panama predominantly comprised seeds of... read more


    Suspected to be circumannual breeder in Colombia and Costa Rica, mainly May–Jul in Pacific NW, and Jan in Parrita; Mar–Sept in... read more


    Generally considered to be resident throughout range, but in savannas of S Guyana was described as... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Extensive range, within which species is fairly common to common in parts, e.g. locally in Colombia; local in much of Central America; rare in some... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Plain-breasted Ground-dove (Columbina minuta). 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 14 December 2019).