Inca Dove in Costa Rica

Inca Doves (Columbina inca) are very common in parts of Costa Rica, such as in the drier northwest lowlands and in the central valley, especially near towns. They are present but less common near towns along the southern Pacific coastline in Costa Rica. Inca Doves range from the southwestern U.S. down to southern Costa Rica.

Inca Doves have reddish eyes, pink legs and feet, a long, white-edged tail, rufous wing linings and wing patches, and are a light grayish brown color above and cream-colored below with dark brown-edged feathers that give them a distinctive scaled appearance similar to that of a fish. The sexes are similar, while the immatures are less heavily scaled.

Inca Dove (Columbina inca) in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

This Inca Dove above was wandering around on the ground in the coastal jungle near our hotel in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, which is near the southernmost tip of this species' range.

Coastal jungle in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

I have observed Inca Doves in the northern part of their range in arid Tucson, Arizona and the surrounding Sonoran Desert, so it was a bit surprising to see one of these arid-loving doves in the shady, wet, verdant, Costa Rican jungle.

Inca Doves are seed-eaters, and these terrestrial doves are usually observed foraging for seeds on the ground. They will also happily visit bird feeders, where they prefer to stay on the ground under the feeder as they search for fallen seeds. I'm not sure what this Inca Dove was finding to eat in the wet, leaf-littered gloom of the jungle.