Columbina passerina - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Ground-Dove
Other English Common Names: common ground-dove
Other Common Names: Rolinha-Cinzenta
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Columbina passerina (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 177152)
French Common Names: Colombe ŕ queue noire
Spanish Common Names: Tórtola Coquita
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102817
Element Code: ABNPB06020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Columbiformes Columbidae Columbina
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Columbina passerina
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 13Mar2014
Global Status Last Changed: 27Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Jan1997)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S3), Arizona (S4), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNR), District of Columbia (SHN), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Louisiana (S1B,S2N), Mississippi (S1S2), New Mexico (S1B,S1N), North Carolina (SXB), South Carolina (SNR), Texas (S4B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: RESIDENT: southern California, central Arizona, southern New Mexico, central Texas, Gulf coast, South Carolina, Bermuda and Bahamas south through Mexico, Antilles and Central America to central Costa Rica; in western Panama; from Colombia, Venezuela to Ecuador and eastern Brazil. Wanders north to California, Iowa, New York.

Area of Occupancy: >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Based on Birdlife International (2014) statistics

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: With an estimated global population of 13 million, there should be at least 300 element occurrences.

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Partners in Flight (2013) pput the numbers globally as 13 million and as 2 million within the U.S.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: With an estimated global population of 13 million, there should be at least 125 good element occurrences.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: HABITAT LOSS: The most significant concern for populations in the eastern United States may be the transformation of scrub-shrub habitats into intensive pine management and residential development. Common Ground-Doves are rapidly becoming less common throughout Florida due to ongoing habitat destruction. Declines may be related to loss of riparian habitat in western portions of its range. Urban development, water diversion, flood control projects, grazing, and the spread of agriculture have destroyed much riparian habitat in the West. Loss and degradation of desert riparian habitats due to livestock operations and improper water management will continue to threaten bird communities that breed there. In New Mexico, loss of the native shrublands, weedy areas, and riparian areas this species prefers apparently limit this species (NMDGF 1996). HUMAN DISTURBANCE: Citrus culture operations frequently cause disturbance to nesting Common Ground-Doves which increases nest desertion, particularly during nest building (Mitchell et al. 1996). PREDATION: Spends much time on ground and thus is preyed upon by small mammals, accipiters, and corvids. HUNTING: May be negatively impacted by hunters who misidentify this non-game species for the larger Mourning Dove. POISONS: Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are routinely applied in citrus groves and have the potential to poison adults and nestlings, resulting in decreased survival and nesting success (Mitchell et al. 1996).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Survey-wide BBS trends show a significant decline of -1.07% per year from 2002-2012. The only region with a significant increase during this period is Alabama (+2.11% per year) (Sauer, et. al., 2014)

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Survey-wide BBS trends show a significant decline of -0.88% per year from 1966-2012 and a -3.21% decline in Florida for the same period. The only region with a significant increase over this time period iss Alabama (+2.33% per year). Listed in New Mexico as Endangered; in Alabama as a Species of Special Concern, but does not appear on any other state lists within range in U.S. Birdlife International (2014) notes a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last 40 years.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable to not intrinsically vulnerable.
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Not particularly vulnerable but tendency towards walking on ground may make it more vulnerable to human-related vulnerabilities such as cats and dogs.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Fairly specific habitat preferences, with the habitat being developed in many parts of its range.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Population surveys combined with capture-recapture and telemetry data can be used to estimate habitat-specific demographic parameters and assess population viability under different environmental conditions (Bowman, 2002).

Protection Needs: Primary need is preservation of habitat.

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) RESIDENT: southern California, central Arizona, southern New Mexico, central Texas, Gulf coast, South Carolina, Bermuda and Bahamas south through Mexico, Antilles and Central America to central Costa Rica; in western Panama; from Colombia, Venezuela to Ecuador and eastern Brazil. Wanders north to California, Iowa, New York.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CA, DC, FL, GA, LA, MS, NCextirpated, NM, SC, TX

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; NatureServe, 2005; WWF-US, 2000


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Monroe (01099)*
LA Cameron (22023)*, Iberia (22045)*
NC Brunswick (37019)*, New Hanover (37129)*, Pender (37141)*
NM Dona Ana (35013), Hidalgo (35023), Sierra (35051)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 New River (03020302)+*, Lower Cape Fear (03030005)+*, Coastal Carolina (03040208)+*, Lower Alabama (03150204)+*
08 Vermilion (08080103)+*, Lower Calcasieu (08080206)+*
12 Lower Sabine (12010005)+*, Sabine Lake (12040201)+*
13 Caballo (13030101)+, El Paso-Las Cruces (13030102)+
15 Animas Valley (15040003)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A bird (dove).
General Description: A small chunky dove. Back and upperwings are gray-brown, breast and head having a scaly appearance. Wing coverts show black spotting and inner webs of primaries and wing linings are cinnamon. Tail is brown in the center with black edges and white corners. About 14cm (5.5 inches) long. In flight it flashes bright chestnut on the primaries and wing linings. Males show a pinkish-buff colored head, neck and breast and blue hindneck and nape. Belly is pinkish and unscaled. Females have a pale gray head, neck, nape and breast and an unscaled belly. Juvenile birds are similar to the adult female, but are longer tailed, lack cinnamon primaries and tend to be more extensively scaly.
Diagnostic Characteristics: See Dunn and Garrett (1990) for information on identification of common and ruddy ground-doves.
Reproduction Comments: Typical nesting season in Florida extends from early March to early September, peaking from 3 April-16 May, and begins earlier in Texas (mid-March to late October), Arizona, and California (Bowman and Woolfenden 1997, Oberholser 1974). However, birds are suspected to nest year round (Bent 1932, Sprunt 1954). Nest is a thin frail platform of fine twigs, grasses, rootlets built in a tree or bush or on the old nest of another species. Occasionally on the beams of open buildings. Nests are typically 2.4-6.1 m (8-20 ft). up, and may be reused multiple times (Baicich and Harrison 1997). Sometimes built on the ground (Peterson 1961).

Pair nests solitarily or in small groups. Female lays two white eggs, and two or four broods may be raised in a year. Incubation period is 12-14 days and nestling care 12 days with both parents incubating. Young are altricial and cared for by both parents, fledging at 11 days. Young presumably fed crop milk initially (Ehrlich et al. 1988). It takes roughly a month to complete a successful nesting cycle (Bowman and Woolfenden 1997). Breeding pairs are territorial and will defend an area around the nest. Nicholson (1937) frequently found 3 pairs nesting within a 46m (150 ft) radius in Florida. A rare cowbird host (Ehrlich et al. 1998).

Information on survivorship and productivity is scant, but Passmore (1984) suggests that in south Texas, productivity may be 2.5 young per pair per year. This would be a 42% egg success based on an assumed two eggs per nest and three successful nestings. In addition, juvenile birds are thought to breed (Passmore 1984). The timing of the fall peak of weed seed production may coincide with a peak in breeding activity in Florida (Bowman and Woolfenden 1997).

Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Wanders in fall and spring north of breeding areas.
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Sand/dune, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Once inhabited open country with trees and bushes, sandy reefs, open sandy areas in forest and savannah, but over much of its range now primarily a bird of cultivated land, villages and towns (Goodwin 1983). In general, habitat structure rather than species composition appears to be a the best predictor of suitable habitat (Landers and Buckner 1979). Found primarily in open areas with plants that produce small seeds such as abandoned agricultural fields, young pine plantations or citrus groves and other early successional habitats. These habitats tend satisfy their food and nesting requirements because forbs and grasses that produce small seeds, a major food of Ground-Doves, are generally abundant there (Landers and Buckner 1979).

Landers and Buckner (1979) found that sites with Ground-Doves were much more open than those without doves, and that sites with doves had smaller diameter trees than those without. Additionally, Ground-Doves may require a bare ground component for feeding and cover consisting of trees and shrubs in the desert or cropland and other habitat. Early seral stages also provide good nesting cover. Sandy soils with low natural fertility may be closely associated with this species (Hopkins 1958) because they tend to retard the rate of succession and make suitable Ground-Dove habitat available for longer periods of time (Jones and Mirarchi 1990).

Especially in the arid southwestern U.S., Ground-Doves are often associated with riparian areas. In New Mexico occurs up to 1524 m (5,000 ft.) in shrubby riparian habitat often at the edges of riparian woodlands and in desert shrub dominated by mesquite or OPUNTIA SPP. In California, found in desert scrub and near edges of desert riparian habitats, as well as in alkali desert scrub, desert wash, orchard-vineyard, and eucalyptus habitats, usually below 305 m (1000 ft.) (Small 1994). In coastal California, Ground-Doves prefer river valleys with similar growth (Garrett and Dunn 1981). In the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, occurs in desert scrub, open to dense vegetation of shrubs, low trees and succulents dominated by paloverde (CERCIDIUM MICROPHYLLUM), prickly pear (OPUNTIA SPP.), and giant saguaro (CEREUS GIGANTEUS). In the Chihuahuan Desert found in open stands of creosote bush and large succulents (FEROCACTUS PRINGLEI, ECHINOCACTUS PLATYACONTHUS, NMDGF 1994).

In the lower Colorado River region prefers agricultural edges, orchards and sparse riparian vegetation. Nests here can be found in almost any tree species with willows and mesquites near a water source preferred. Occurs in suburban habitats at Yuma, where it replaces the Inca Dove (COLUMBINA INCA) which is the small suburban dove elsewhere in the valley and throughout most of central and southern Arizona (Rosenberg et al.1991). In Texas, however, Ground-Dove habitat is quite different. Inca Dove typically occupies the cultivated areas, leaving brushy rangeland to the this species (Oberholser 1974), but Ground-Doves are also found in orchards, brushy rangeland, and open woodlands. Oberholser (1974) describes this species reaching its maximum density in the state of Texas on the one-million-acre King Ranch located in Kleberg and Kenedy counties where the primary habitat type was grassy mesquite-live oak-cactus savanna. Also found in scrubby juniper-oak associations in the Trans-Pecos and on the Edwards Plateau.

In Florida, Ground-Doves can be found in almost any habitat type from sea coast to pine flatwoods, except in wetlands. In Florida and South Texas birds also commonly nest in citrus groves (Mitchell et al. 1996) and sometimes in wax myrtle (MYRICA CERIFERA) on the coastal plain. In Georgia, nests in 5-year-old slash pine (PINUS ELLIOTTII) plantations (Landers and Buckner 1976). Hopkins (1957) reports that plum trees and some species of PRUNUS are usually present in Ground-Dove habitat in this state as well. Of sixty-nine sites surveyed by Jones and Mirarchi (1990) in Alabama, habitat types included old field (31), young pine plantation (23), forest (7), agricultural field (4), coastal dune (3) and homesite (1). Among coastal sites they recorded Common Ground-Doves in all vegetative zones from the foredunes through the hinddunes. Also observed in freshly plowed or recently harvested agricultural fields, and in hardwood and pine forest types.

Populations in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands occur primarily in coastal habitat from mangroves, palm groves and residential areas, cane field and arid scrublands. Most common in arid regions and is only absent from heavily wooded areas (Raffaele 1983). Throughout the remainder of its range, found in arid lowland scrub, low seasonally wet grassland, arid montane scrub, second growth scrub (0-1400m) in the tropical and subtropical zones.

Adult Food Habits: Granivore
Immature Food Habits: Granivore
Food Comments: Feeds primarily on small seeds gathered from gardens and lawns, along roadsides, in fields, weed patches, or grassy areas, but will also take berries and some insects. Landers and Buckner (1979) collected eight birds in Georgia and found that the most common food item was three-sided mercury (ACALYPHA VIRGINICA). Others included Croton (CROTON GLANDULOSUS), Yellow wood sorrel (OXALIS STRICTA), Eyebane (EUPHORBIA MACULATA), Texas panicum (PANICUM TEXANUM), Marsh elder (IVA ANNUA), Amaranth (AMARANTHUS SPP.), Ragweed (AMBROSIA ARTEMISIIFOLIA), Panic grass (PANICUM DICHOTOMIFLORUM), and Bull grass (PASPALUM BOSCIANUM). Most birds were seen in crabapple thickets and often in areas of blackberry and scrub oak. Birds were often seen feeding on the ground in small clearings with sparse herbaceous cover, especially in 1-year-old pine stands. In Florida and Texas important food sources include CROTON spp., PANICUM spp. and PORTULACA spp. (Howell 1932, Passmore 1981). This species must drink frequently and is often found in association with a water source.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Phenology Comments: In Puerto Rico, calling peaked in spring and a secondary peak ocurred in fall in the dry zone (Rivera-Milan 1992).
Length: 17 centimeters
Weight: 30 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Successful management will require protection of existing habitat. Conservation of natural shrub/scrub communities and restoration of degraded habitat are a priority throughout the U.S. range of this species. Protection and restoration of riparian zones are a high priority in the arid southwestern U.S. where development, water management activities, grazing, and agricultural practices have had significant impact on these communities and have caused regional endangerment of a number of bird species. Developing alternatives that minimize disturbance and improve habitat in citrus orchards and other agricultural operations may be a management option. Basic information on population trends, habitat requirements, and management recommendations are lacking throughout the majority of range.
Restoration Potential: Still relatively common through much of its range, but widespread loss and degradation of native scrub and riparian habitats may lead to further declines. Riparian habitat conservation in the Southwest and native scrub conservation in this Texas and the southeastern United States are high regional bird conservation priorities. Efforts targeted at conservation and restoration of shrub/scrub and riparian ecological communities will likely benefit Common Ground-Dove.
Management Requirements: HABITAT: Successful management will require the protection of existing shrub/scrub and riparian habitat. Throughout the southwest and Texas, protection of native shrublands and weedy areas at lower elevations may help maintain the species, particularly in riparian areas. Conservation programs and recovery efforts directed toward other priority shrub/scrub species will likely benefit Common Ground-Doves, especially in Florida and the desert southwest where they are declining.

In areas where succession proceeds toward forested climax conditions land managers will have to interrupt this process through mowing, burning or other means. In Texas, Common Ground-Doves show a positive numerical response to management practices designed to improve habitat for White-tailed Deer and Northern Bobwhite (COLINUS VIRGINIANUS). Clearing patches of thornscrub caused an increase in numbers of Common Ground-Doves (Vega and Rappole 1994). However, the spatial arrangement and acreage of such management practices may play an important role in how this species responds to management. Limited clearing of patches may improve foraging habitat, but more extensive habitat destruction is likely to result in fewer nesting ground-doves and other priority bird species. However, NMDGF (1994) suggest that in New Mexico, Common Ground-Doves are at the extreme periphery of their range and conditions may be less than optimal for maintaining viable populations, even in seemingly suitable areas (Hubbard 1985).

Spencer (1987) suggested that expansion of this species in southern California may have been in part due to a conversion from furrow to drip irrigation systems in lemon and avocado groves, reducing the amount of ground disturbance through cultivation. Efforts to minimize disturbance to nesting birds where they nest in orchards are likely to cause population increases.

HUNTING: Efforts targeted at educating hunters to possible misidentification of Common Ground-Dove for the larger Mourning Dove (ZENAIDA MACROURA) should benefit this non-game species (NMGDF 1996).

Monitoring Requirements: Techniques used to assess populations may include call counts along transects throughout the year and call counts of males during the breeding season.
Management Research Needs: The relationship of habitat quality to nesting success needs research. For management purposes, this means investigating factors affecting survivorship and productivity in human altered landscapes such as citrus groves where this species increasingly nests as well as research into how riparian area restoration in the West might benefit this species, especially in New Mexico. Insecticides and other chemicals, human disturbance and nest predation may significantly decrease reproductive ability and life span of adults and juveniles. Understanding how these factors affect Common Ground-Doves may also lead to improved management practices.

A deeper understanding of the demography of this species is also needed (Bowman and Woolfenden 1997). It is unknown whether or not populations with apparently low nesting success, such as those nesting in Florida citrus groves, may compensate for a low success rate by repeated renesting or whether these habitats are population sinks. Nesting by juvenile birds may also contribute to increased productivity of a population.

Biological Research Needs: Relatively little is known about this species? demography or reproductive potential. Considering sedentary behavior and permanent pair bonds of this species, behaviors otherwise unusual within the genus, long-term demographic studies of marked populations would appear to have both strong ecological and conservation value, especially comparative studies of ground-doves in natural habitats with those in agricultural or suburban habitats. Recent range expansion also provides an opportunity to examine the ecological and physiological limitations influencing distribution of this species. (Bowman, 2002). Additional research is needed to determine exact habitat requirements and should include determination of requirements throughout the range and specific use of each habitat (Jones and Mirarchi 1990).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Small Doves

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary. In Mexico, Inca Doves had linear breeding territories along a river ranging from 0.2-0.5 hectares (Johnson 1960). However, these doves form flocks in the nonbreeding season, so annual home ranges are probably considerably larger.
Date: 05Dec2001
Author: Cannings, S.
Notes: Contains species of the genus COLUMBINA.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 20 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to create occurrences that are manageable for conservation purposes.
Date: 22Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 13Mar2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Robertson, Bruce (Threats, Trends). Modified 2014-03-13 by Jue, Sally S.
Management Information Edition Date: 13Feb2001
Management Information Edition Author: ROBERTSON, BRUCE
Management Information Acknowledgments: Funding for the preparation of this abstract was made possible by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Endangered Species.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 18Mar1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Mitchell, M. C., L. B. Best, J. P. Gionfriddo.1996. Avian nest-site selection and nesting success in two Florida citrus groves. Wilson Bulletin 108(3):573-583.

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