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Pigeons (Rock Doves)

Facts, Identification and Control

Latin Name

Columba livia

Appearance

Feral pigeons have dark, blue-gray heads with glossy yellow, greenish and reddish-purple markings along their neck and wing feathers. The bill is grayish pink. Two dark bands are usually seen on the wings and there is a single dark band across the tail.

Pigeon Sound

Click here to listen to a pigeon coo to attract a mate or call out to a friend.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits

Pigeons walk or run with their heads bobbing forward and back. They fly in a direct path. They feed in the morning and early afternoon and take cover at night. The birds nest in large flocks. Feral pigeons nest in old farm buildings, with skyscrapers taking the place of natural cliff surroundings.

Pigeons prefer seeds but will eat many things off open ground. Feral city pigeons consume popcorn, bread, cake, peanuts and more.

Reproduction

Pigeons pair for life. The male builds the nest, where eggs hatch about 19 days after being laid. Both parents incubate the eggs, which vary in quantity.

Signs of a Pigeon Infestation

Most obvious of the signs are the pigeons seen hanging out or roosting on or near buildings or parks. The droppings often can be seen near roosting, feeding, nesting or loafing areas. The third sign would be their nests located on ledges. A final sign is the cooing sound they produce.

More Information

Pigeons are considered the No. 1 pest by most urban residents. Pigeon predators include opossums, raccoons, owls, eagles and sparrow hawks.