Rock Dove

Columba livia

Summary 3

The Rock Dove (Columba livia) or Rock Pigeon is usually referred to as the "pigeon" and is highly variable in color due to a history of selective breeding, but most birds are bluish gray with two black bands on the wing and a black tip to the tail ("blue bar" wild type) and an iridescent throat. Other common color morphs include a “red bar” version (similarly marked, but with rusty red replacing bluish gray); “checker” (birds that have spots on the wings); “spread” (all black or all gray); “pied” (birds of any color that are splotched with white); and mostly red or mostly white forms. (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/rock_pigeon/lifehistory). To learn more about the history of pigeon breeding: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/Birdscope/Summer2008/bird_paradox.html.

Similar SpeciesBand-tailed Pigeons are grayish overall, with yellow legs and bill and a white collar on the back of the neck. These are also much larger birds and would probably only be flying over, not resident on campus.

Mourning Doves are gray-brown with black spots on the wings; they're more slender and have a long, pointed tail.

Where on Foothill campus? 4

Everywhere.

Habitat 4

A very adaptable species, they are found in most habitats worldwide. They nest on ledges of buildings

Life History 4

Nesting Nest are comprised of a platform of straw, stems, and sticks from materials brought by the male. They will nest in the same place over time, ultimately creating a cup-like nest from the feces. Pigeons can lay up to 6 broods/year.

FeedingThese ground feeding birds primarily eat seeds and fruit, but are also attracted to human food and garbage.

Distribution 5

Pigeons are native to Europe, North Africa, and southwestern Asia. Feral pigeons are found worldwide, including throughout all of North America.

Migration 4

Naturalized resident bird.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) jim gifford, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/12015033@N00/2175759757
  2. (c) Simon J. Tonge, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://eol.org/data_objects/23484217
  3. Adapted by gillian360 from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columba_livia
  4. (c) gillian360, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  5. Adapted by gillian360 from a work by (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/18641597

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