Rock Pigeon

Columba livia




Pigeons and Doves (Columbidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

16 - 19

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Building ledges, barn rafters, gutters, cliff edges, or rocks.

Nest Material:

Unlined platform of sticks, twigs, leaves, grasses.





Rock Pigeon: Large gray body, dark blue-gray head; neck and upper breast purple with green iridescence; white rump; iris golden orange, orange or red-orange; orbital skin blue-gray; black bill; cere white; legs red or purple-red. Wings gray with two black bars. Tail is gray and rounded with a dark terminal band. Sexes are similar. Female is a slightly duller gray with less neck iridescence. Juvenile is even duller than the female; has dull eyes and feet; some iridescence on each side of the neck on the male but not the female.

Range and Habitat

Rock Pigeon: Common throughout the continental United States, southern Canada, Mexico, and urban areas throughout the world. These birds thrive in human habitats, and are most populous in large cities, but can also be found in suburban and rural locations, agricultural lands and open shrub. Pigeons do not migrate.

Breeding and Nesting

Rock Pigeon: Two white eggs are laid in a crude nest lined with sticks and debris, built on a window ledge, building, bridge, or cliff. Incubation ranges from 16 to 19 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Rock Pigeon: These pigeons eat mostly seeds but also take fruits and berries. They subsist on scraps in urban and suburban areas. Some birds live for extended periods on just one foodstuff, such as corn or barley. They forage chiefly in early morning or mid-afternoon on open ground. They drink by suction, using their bill as a straw.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Sunflower Seed, Nuts, Milo


Rock Pigeon: Emits soft, guttural coos.

Similar Species

Rock Pigeon: Band-tailed Pigeon has yellow legs and banded tail, White-crowned Pigeon has white cap. Domesticated plumages vary significantly. Doves have longer tails.

The upper front part of a bird.
Also called the operculum, it is a smooth and featherless patch of skin located where the beak attaches to the forehead.
Terminal bandX
Refers to the contrasting stripe at the tip of the tail.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X