Hello Mobirds
Have had several e-mails about the common ground dove I found Thanksgiving Day.Mainly  asking was I really  surprised to find one.Obviously its way out of its normal range, but to be honest, it really didn't surprise me or blow me away all that much(say compared to finding something that really would surprise me like a  Masked tityra or  a three-toed woodpecker in Missouri)
 I guess what surprises me the most about the bird is that more have not been found in Missouri.
 Two main reasons why I think these birds may be showing up more
 1-The hardcore extreme drought that has and is devastating much of Texas(as well as OK) where this bird probably originated from.No doubt causing a lot of irregular dispersing patterns for many Texas birds in search of food. Not only common ground doves but Im sure inca doves as well and probably other species
 2-One of the strongest reason I suspect these birds may show up more in MO and neighboring states is due to northerly range expansion
 I  remember in the real early ninties,(1991) while living in western CO  listening to the NARBA hotline ( that I would call via pay phone,haha) and hearing about a ruddy ground dove showing up outside of Soniata AZ.I  jumped in my rust bucket suburu and drove straight through the night from Vail Co to Soniata AZ to see one of these extremely rare, at the time, Mexican vagrants.
 To make a long story short ruddy ground doves,another type of ground dove very similar to common,once rare, is now relatively easy to find in areas of S-California,AZ and southern New Mexico.I know there are areas around the Salton sea in CA where you cant miss them.They have expanded their range from the northern areas of the state of Durango,Mexico about 400-500 miles since the early ninties.
 Think this may be the case with common ground doves as well
 Time will tell I guess but would not be surprised if more common ground doves or even inca doves start showing  up in Mo and states close by

PS-ID tip
 One thing to look for is the flight pattern of these doves.Dead give away.All the ground doves, be it common,inca,ruddy or plain breasted have a very unique "fast and stiff" flight pattern.(Having a lot of field  experience with various ground dove species I was pretty sure what it was immediately when I first flushed it thursday)
good birding
Mike Brady
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