Range & Habitat
Wild rock doves (common pigeons) are native to Europe, North Africa, and southwestern Asia. Feral pigeons are found worldwide, including throughout of North America. Rock doves live in the forest, rainforest, desert, dune, and savanna.
The rock dove has a dark bluish-gray head, neck, and chest with glossy yellowish, greenish, and reddish-purple iridescence along its neck and wing feathers. Females tend to show less iridescence than the males. The bill is dark grayish-pink. Two dark bands across the wings are seen in most pigeons, and one bluish-gray band across the tail.
Pigeons generally walk or run while bobbing their heads back and forth. They fly with a steady and direct path. Pigeons are most often seen during daylight, seeking cover at night and during the heat of the day, according to the climate. Cliffs and rock ledges are used for roosting and breeding in the wild. They flock while roosting, sunning, and feeding, but no play has been observed. In the nesting territory, both sexes are aggressive, pecking intruders on the head.
Pairs may be formed at any point during the year. These pairs are formed for life. Each bird works cooperatively on most aspects of reproduction and young-rearing. The male builds the nest, and the eggs are laid shortly after the nest is finished. Both males and females incubate the eggs which hatch in approximately 19 days. Baby pigeons are called squabs.
Rock doves feed in the early morning and in the mid-afternoon on the open ground. They eat mainly seeds.