Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)

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image: rockdove.jpg

Common Name: Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)
Scientific Name: Columba livia

Size: 11-14 inches (30-35 cm)

Habitat: Worldwide; The Rock Pigeon has a restricted natural resident range in western and southern Europe, North Africa and into southwest Asia and throughout the Americas. Its habitat is natural cliffs, usually on coasts. In its domesticated form, the feral pigeon has been widely introduced elsewhere and is common, especially in cities, over much of the world. In Britain, Ireland, and much of its former range, the Rock Pigeon probably only occurs pure in the most remote areas. A Rock Pigeon's life span is anywhere from 3-5 years in the wild to 15 years in captivity, though longer-lived specimens have been reported.

Status: Least concern. Global Population: unknown. Rock Doves have adapted to humans and flourished.

Diet: Seeds and man-made food products.

Breeding: In the wild, the nest is usually on a ledge in a cave; it is a slight structure of grass, heather, or seaweed. Like most pigeons it lays two white eggs. The eggs are incubated by both parents for about 18 days. The nestling has pale yellow down and a flesh coloured bill with a dark band. It is tended and fed on "milk" like other doves. The fledging period is 30 days.

Cool Facts: Rock Doves come in five basic variations; Natural (shown above), Checkered, Brown, Dark and Pied. Many domestic birds have escaped or been released over the years, and have given rise to the feral pigeon. These show a variety of plumages, although some look very like the pure Rock Pigeons. The scarcity of the pure wild species is due to interbreeding with feral birds.

The pigeon was introduced to North America in 1604 by explorers and settlers.

Pigeons are one of the few birds that can swallow water without having to lift it’s head back, allowing the bird to drink much more water.

Found in Songbird Remix Second Edition

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