Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Scaled Dove (Columbina squammata)


French: Colombe écaillée German: Schuppentäubchen Spanish: Tortolita escamosa
Other common names: Scaly Dove

Columba squammata


, 1831,

Bahia, Brazil


Although this species and closely related C. inca 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. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. ridgwayi (Richmond, 1896) – coastal Colombia (S to Vichada) and Venezuela (S to Orinoco Valley), including Margarita I. Recently also reported from tropical dry forest in the Cúcuta Valley, north-east Colombia, and Tachira in nearby Venezuela#R.
  • C. s. squammata (Lesson, 1831) – C & E Brazil (Pará S to Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul) to Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones); also regular in Bolivia, where status uncertain.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–22 cm; 48–60 g. Similar to C. inca but less pink; outer webs of distal wing-coverts white, forming a conspicuous patch on closed wing; forehead, face... read more


    Song is a rather loud rhythmic three-note phrase "pow-co-pow", repeated every c. 2-3... read more


    Arid tropical savanna with open ground, scattered trees and scrub cover; also second growth and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Few data available; known to take seeds and snails. Typically found singly or in pairs but not infrequent in small flocks of up to 12 birds. read more


    Nest building in March and August in Colombia; nests in January–June and September–October in NE Venezuela. Usually nests in... read more


    Generally sedentary. Vagrant to Trinidad. Status unclear in Bolivia, where species may be merely... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Very few data available, but species considered common throughout much of its sizeable range. Research required on all aspects of biology and ecology... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Bonan, A., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Scaled Dove (Columbina squammata). 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 18 November 2019).