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Rock Pigeon

Rock Pigeon

Description:

The Rock Pigeons belong to the family of Columbidae. Commonly the bird is referred to as the pigeon. Rock Pigeons are pale gray in color with two black bars on each wing.

However, domestic and feral pigeons may have a variable color and pattern. Visible differences between male and female are few.

Common Name:

Rock Pigeon, Pigeon, Rock Dove, Feral Pigeon, Flying Rat (slang)

Scientific Name:

Columba livia

Size:13-14 inches long with 25-inch wingspan.

Colors:Blue gray, black, white, brown.

Behavior

Pigeons often gather in flocks, walking or running on the ground and pecking for food. When alarmed, the flock may suddenly fly into the air and circle several times..

Because pigeons are so used to humans, they often seem semi-tame and will readily approach passersby for food. Large flocks of pigeons are constantly foraging or birds will roost in close contact with one another. Pigeons are very agile fliers that can reach speeds up to 85 miles per hour with their tapered, falcon-like wings.

Diet:

Diet of Rock Pigeons includes seeds, weeds, barley and corns. Rock Pigeons residing in cities feed on almost anything from bread crumbs to French fries.

Habitat:

Pigeons are familiar birds of cities and towns. You'll also see them around farmland and fields, as well as in their archetypal habitat, rocky cliffs.

Status and Distribution:

 The rock pigeon was introduced from Europe by early settlers, it is now widespread and common throughout the United States and southern Canada, particularly in urban settings. Gregarious and forming large flocks, it feeds on handouts and grains during the day in city parks and open fields; roosts on buildings at night.

Reproduction:

Rock pigeons can brood at any time of year and both the male and female parents will tend the eggs during the 17 to 19 day incubation period.

The fledgling phase lasts 25 to 35 days and for the first few days both parents will feed the young birds with regurgitated crop milk. One brood consists of 1 to 2 eggs, and pigeons can raise five or more broods per year.

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