The Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), or Rock Dove, is a member of the bird family Columbidae (doves and pigeons). In common usage, this bird is often simply referred to as the “pigeon”. The species includes the domestic pigeon, and escaped domestic pigeons have given rise to the Feral Pigeon.
Wild Rock Pigeons are pale grey with two black bars on each wing, although domestic and feral pigeons are very variable in colour and pattern. There are few visible differences between males and females. The species is generally monogamous, with two squabs (young) per brood. Both parents care for the young for a time.
Habitats include various open and semi-open environments, including agricultural and urban areas. Cliffs and rock ledges are used for roosting and breeding in the wild. Originally found wild in Europe, North Africa, and western Asia, feral Rock Pigeons have become established in cities around the world. The species is abundant, with an estimated population of 17 to 28 million feral and wild birds in Europe.
(From Wikipedia, April 27, 2010)
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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. Rock doves and feral pigeons can be divided into a large number of different phenotypes, or groups based on outward characteristics. Some of these classifications are the blue-bar, blue checker, dark checker, spread, and red phenotypes.
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