Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Alan D. Wilson/Wikimedia Commons (CC 2.5)

Rock Pigeon

Rock Pigeon
Columba livia
Pigeon-like Birds | Family: Pigeons and Doves, Columbidae

An estimated 5% of the species' North American breeding range lies within the Boreal Forest.

Listen:
 

Overview

Everyone knows Rock Pigeons, or domestic pigeons, as city birds that subsist on handouts or country birds that nest in pigeon cotes on farms. Few have seen them nesting in their ancestral home-cliff ledges or high among rocks. Over the centuries, many strains and color varieties have been developed in captivity through selective breeding. Since pigeons have been accused of carrying human diseases, there have been several attempts to eradicate them from our cities, but they are so prolific that little progress has been made in this endeavor.

Description

13 1/2" (34 cm). The common pigeon of towns and cities. Chunky, with short rounded tail. Typically bluish-gray with 2 narrow black wing bands and broad black terminal tail band; white rump. There are many color variants, ranging from all white through rusty to all black.

Voice

Soft guttural cooing.

Nesting

2 white eggs in a crude nest lined with sticks and debris, placed on a window ledge, building, bridge, or cliff.

Habitat

City parks, suburban gardens, and farmlands.

Range/Migration

Native to Old World. Introduced and established in most of North America from central Canada southward.