Rock Pigeon

Scientific Name:

Columba livia

Type:

Bird

Habitat:

Urban areas, farmland, and rocky cliffs

Range:

Every continent except Antarctica

Status:

Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NON-NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

Rock pigeons, usually known just as pigeons, are some of the most common and well-known birds worldwide. They are small, plump birds with thin bills. While their coloration often varies, rock pigeons usually have light grey bodies, shiny green/grey/purple heads, and two black bands on their wings.

Fast Facts:

  • While rock pigeons can be found around the world, their original native range was limited to southern Europe, northern Africa, and western and central Asia. However, today these pigeons can be found on nearly every continent, most oftenly in cities and other urban areas.

  • Like all pigeons, doves, and flamingos, rock pigeon parents make crop milk for their young. This milk, which is very similar in chemical composition to the milk of mammals, is secreted in the crop, a gland found in the birds' throats.

  • Pigeons have excellent navigation and can find their way back home from great distances. Pigeons use magnetic fields to navigate as well as smell, sound, and the position of the sun.

  • Charles Darwin studied the differences between different pigeon varieties, work which helped him formulate his theory of evolution.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Haley McGuire (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

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