Species: Rock Dove (Columba livia)

Family: Pigeons and Doves (COLUMBIDAE)

Category: Birds

Location: Widespread

A. Birds

More extensive information on birds can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Pigeons and Doves (COLUMBIDAE)

This is a large family that feeds primarily on seeds, fruits, and plants. They are strong flyers, famed for their homing ability, using the sun as a compass and landmarks to navigate.

C. Rock Dove (Columba livia)

The Rock Dove has various additional names, including Rock Pigeon and Common Pigeon, but should properly be called a Feral Pigeon. It is the wild ancestor of all feral and domesticated pigeons. Darwin counted nearly 230 separate varieties of the latter. 'Pure' Rock Doves are found only on the north and west coasts of Scotland, and the coasts of Northern Ireland.

In Britain it is a resident breeder, with nearly half a million pairs estimated to have been here in the summer of 2016. It is this bird that can be seen waddling and strutting around town centres the length and breadth of Britain.

This bird comes in all shades: blue, black, pale grey, dull red, pale brown and off-white. In comparison, the Stock Dove has a generally blue-grey appearance, and a more-pronounced iridescent bottle-green area at the back of its neck.

They are seed and berry eaters that get by with scavenging in urban parks and gardens.


Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)

In Britain, the Rock Dove is a resident breeder. It is the one you see waddling and strutting around town centres.