Common Ground Doves and Magnificent Frigatebirds – Two New Lifers

What fun to get to share two new lifers #198 and #199 to my photographed bird list.  😊

Lucky #198 is the Common Ground Dove, one of the smallest doves in North America.Β  It is about the same size as a Song Sparrow and is common across the southernmost parts of the United States from California to Florida.Β  We have a pair visiting our RV resort daily; all along I thought it was a sparrow, finally paid a little more attention, and here it was a lifer.Β  Geez Donna!Β  I got it now!!Β  πŸ˜‰

Common Ground Doves


Reaching the last of the climb to 200 is #199, the Magnificent Frigatebird, a large, black pterodactyl-like bird that spends most of its life flying effortlessly over the ocean, using its deeply forked tail to steer.Β  It is also sometimes called the “man-o-war bird” as they steal food from other birds in midair.

We escaped the past week to Key West for some fun, and it was a delight to watch the Magnificent Frigatebirds soar daily over Sunset Key.Β  Sigh, if only I had my long lens, that had to be nixed due to packing light…..never again.

Magnificent Frigatebirds


Hey, two lifers, ching ching!Β  Bringing me finally to that magical 200 mark that seems to have taken forever to achieve.

But no need to wish me luck…..wink-wink.Β  Next post!



39 thoughts on “Common Ground Doves and Magnificent Frigatebirds – Two New Lifers

  1. Woo-hoo! 200 lifers, that’s really fun, Donna. Funny about the common ground dove/sparrow mistake. Birds have a way of keeping us on our toes, don’t they? And frigatebirds are one of my top favorite birds. Such an enormous wingspan, and a joy to watch in flight. Glad you’re enjoying the FL birds, and thank you for sharing these excellent photos.

    • Thank you much, Jet! I won’t divulge what #200 is til my next post, but I saw it in Key West also, a bit of a scarce one. I thought you might see the MFrigatebirds along your coastline, I see they favor southern California too. I got to watch them from our balcony each day, even a couple playing. Just grand! πŸ™‚

      • I have never seen FBs in CA, but I have seen them in HI, FL, Belize, and other places. My favorite place was the Galapagos to witness them in breeding. I never tire of this bird, and I’m sure you won’t either.

    • Thank you, Brian! I watched them again this morning from our RV windshield, they almost fooled me again thinking it was a sparrow of some type. I am eager to get more photos of them. I’ll see what I can do! They are tiny, cute doves. πŸ™‚

  2. Congratulations on the little lifer Donna. I have had similar situations with lifers where I did not realize what I was looking at was not some common bird but up close a rare species. Well captured, and what a tint dove! I went in search of the Red-tailed Tropicbird which started me in birding and is my logo (avatar), came home and thought I had not seen it and then looked at my photos up close and saw I had. This also occurs when we travel to different states and we see a bird we know is common in our state but my wife says it looks a bit different and I reply we see plenty of them at home. Later I find it is a different subspecies and I should have captured it. I think I have learnt now not to take any bird for granted.:-)

  3. Ok, so I won’t wish you luck for bird #200, but I am sharing in your elation about birds # 198 and #199. They would have been lifers for me, too. The ground dove is darling, and I really like the orange beak.

  4. That’s great! The suspense is building to know what you #200 will be! Birding and photography are such great hobbies. There is always something to ponder, another goal to reach, or even just enjoying “the usuals”. What a great and wonderful world we’ve been given! William — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104 The Message

  5. You’re really living it up with Florida birds! The Frigatebird shots are amazing – aren’t they majestic? I remember my first encounter with Ground Doves…. couldn’t understand why they were hanging around on the ground! πŸ˜…

    • I sure am!! To be honest, when I heard people talk about the Common Ground Dove, I didn’t know it was a name. I thought it was a dove that people called common and always saw it on the ground. πŸ˜… They are so adorable, and yes, the Frigatebird is quite majestic, wow!

  6. Ha, ha on leaving the big lens behindβ€”I’ve done that and had a similar outcome with missed oportunity! Congrats on the captures of two new birds for you. We saw two MF when we were at Sanibel over the winter holidays but never got a photo. They are fascinating birds.

  7. How wonderful that you got to see two new lifers! I can appreciate your frustration with not having your long lens. Years ago on a trip to the Galapagos Islands, I saw my first Magnificent Frigate Birds and at that time was shooting everything with a Kodak Easyshare camera. Needless to say I didn’t get much! They are definitely a special bird, so congrats, even without your long lens!

  8. How do you tell the male and female common ground doves apart? Congrats with your list. Is there a specific bird you haven’t captured yet that is your dream capture?

    • Thank you, David! The male has the pretty pinkish sheen, the female is much duller.

      Well, I have a five to mention while I’m down here in Florida. They are the Reddish Egret, Burrowing Owl, Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, Swallow-tailed Kite, and the Flamingo (if that is at all possible). I’ve seen the Swallow-tailed Kite, last time two days ago while driving, & couldn’t stop. I’m planning a 2 hr trip for the Reddish Egrets in next week or so. I’ve been clued in on the Burrowing Owls location (gone 2 times, no luck yet), and the Woodpecker is seen here in town. Out of all of these, the Reddish Egret is the top one. One of these IS going to happen, I hope! πŸ˜‰

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