The breeding season for Ruddy Quail-Dove varies across the range of the species. In Costa Rica it breeds from April to August, with a peak in May, while other species of dove (Leptotila and Claravis) of the same habitat are not breeding (Skutch 1964). In French Guiana it breeds from February to April.
Nest: Skutch (1949, 1964) studied the breeding of Ruddy Quail-Doves at one site in Costa Rica. At this locality the nests (n = 21) are built in April, at the beginning of the rainy season, and breeding peaks in May and June. The nest is sited within primary forest or second-growth woods. The nest is slightly bowl-shaped and consists of small twigs, sometimes on a platform of dead leaves and petioles, or lined with fresh leaves. Nest height ranges from 0.45-2.75 m. Nests are placed above the ground on flat surfaces, such as on the flat tops of old stumps overgrown with other plants that sheltered the stump, on fallen trees that were horizontal above the ground, in a cluster of fronds of a fern (Polypodium), in an epiphyte (Tillandsia), or on fallen branches covered by other plant growth. Nests built on stumps only have enough small twigs to keep the eggs from touching the stump and falling off.
Eggs: Ruddy Quail-Doves usually lay two eggs for each nest. They lay the eggs on two days; the first egg is laid on the morning of day one, and the second in early afternoon of day two (Skutch 1949). The eggs are either a pale buffy cream or a dark cream color. Of the nests in Costa Rica, the extremes of the eggs were found as follows: 29.4 mm by 29.4 mm, 28.6 mm by 21.4 mm, and 26.2 mm by 19.8 mm. In British Guiana, the average size of the eggs was 26.5 mm by 19.5 mm.
Incubation: The male incubates during the day, and the female stays on the eggs overnight (Skutch 1949). Incubation commences with the laying of the second egg; the incubation period is 11 days ± 8 hours.
Nestlings: One day old hatchlings are fed up to 22 times that day. As they grow, they are fed less each day; at the age of one week, they are fed only three times a day. The parents keeping the nest clean; at one nest, a male ate an entire egg shell in one sitting to dispose of it. The nestlings fledge when they are about two weeks old.
Ruddy Quail-Dove has two broods, and after the first hatchlings leave the nest, it is covered with more twigs and leaves and the second brood of eggs is laid within one to two days later.