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Rock Pigeon. A common sight in cities around the world, Rock Pigeons crowd streets and public squares, living on discarded food and offerings of birdseed. In addition to the typical blue-gray bird with two dark wing bars, you will often see flocks with plain, spotted, pale, or rusty-red birds in them. Introduced to North America from Europe in the early 1600s, city pigeons nest on buildings and window ledges. In the countryside they also nest on barns and grain towers, under bridges, and on natural cliffs.
Size & Shape
Larger and plumper than a Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeons are tubby birds with small heads and short legs. Their wings are broad but pointed wings and the tail is wide and rounded.
Variable in color, but most birds are bluish gray with two black bands on the wing and a black tip to the tail. Most birds have iridescent throat feathers. Wing patterns may include two bars, dark spots, or can be plain. The tail is usually dark tipped.
Pigeons often gather in flocks, walking or running on the ground and pecking for food. When alarmed, the flock may suddenly fly into the air and circle several times before coming down again.
Pigeons are familiar birds of cities and towns. You’ll also see them around farmland and fields, as well as in their archetypal habitat, rocky cliffs.