The dove is about 28 cm (11 in) long and weighs 155 g (5.5 oz). Adult birds of most races have a grey tinge from the crown to the nape, a pale grey or whitish forehead and a whitish throat. The eye-ring is typically red in most of its range, but blue in most of the Amazon and northern South America. The upperparts and wings are grey-brown, and the underparts are whitish shading to pinkish, dull grey or buff on the chest. The underwing coverts are rufous. The tail is broadly tipped with white, but this is best visible from below or in flight. The bill is black, the legs are red and the iris is yellow.

Habitat and Distribution

The dove is a resident breeder from southernmost Texas in the USA through Mexico and Central America south to western Peru and central Argentina. It also breeds on the offshore islands of northern South America, including Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands Antilles. It inhabits scrub, woodland and forest.


The food is mainly seeds obtained by foraging on the ground, but it will also take insects, including butterflies and moths.


The White-tipped Dove builds a large stick nest in a tree and lays two white eggs. Incubation is about 14 days, and fledging another 15.

Calls and Songs

The call is a deep hollow ooo-wooooo.