Although very similar in coloration and shape to the Ruddy Ground-Dove, this species is the smallest of all ground doves. They lack the scaled appearance of the Common and the Inca Doves. Their body is mostly uniform brown, with the male having a light gray head, and the female being duller in coloration overall. They both have red legs and a short yellowish bill. They sport black markings on the upper side of the wings. The female is even slightly smaller than the male. They forage by walking fast through the ground, picking out seeds, insects and fruit remains as they go. When startled, they fly away a few meters and land onto the ground to continue feeding.

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