The Rock pigeon or Rock dove (Columba livia) is a member of the Columbidae bird family. This bird is often simply referred to as the ‘pigeon’, in common usage and also known as Blue Rock Dove. The species includes the domestic pigeon, including the fancy pigeon. Escaped domestic pigeons have given rise to populations of feral pigeons around the world. And it is the most abundant species in the world, with an estimated population of 17-28 million wild and feral birds in Europe.
It is an ancient species, and it was first described by Gmelin in 1789. But the Fossil evidence suggests the rock dove originated in southern Asia and skeletal remains unearthed in Israel confirm their existence there for at least three hundred thousand years. However, the Rock pigeon has such a long history with humans that it is impossible to tell exactly where the species’ original range was. Read some more information about this ancient pigeon breed below.
Rock Pigeon Appearance
The Rock pigeon is an average sized bird with beautiful appearance. Most of the feral and domestic pigeons are very variable in color and pattern. While the wild Rock pigeons are usually pale grey in color with two black bars on each wing. The males and females are easily identified, and there are some visible differences between the males and females. These birds usually have a dark bluish grey head, neck and chest with glossy yellowish, greenish and reddish purple iridescence along their neck and wing feathers. Their bill is grey-black with a conspicuous off-white cere. The iris is of orange, red or golden colored with a paler inner ring, and the bare skin round the eye is bluish-grey. Their feet are usually of purplish-red color.
Average wingspan of the Rock pigeon is between 62 and 72 cm. Average mature body weight of the wild or feral Rock pigeons vary from 238 to 380 grams. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
Rock pigeon is a feral bird, and mostly found in the wild.
The Rock pigeon is a very hardy and active bird. It is a strong flyer and is mostly seen in the fields searching for grains or green foods. The species is usually monogamous, with two squabs per brood. Both males and females care for the young for a time. Main habitats of these birds include various open and semi open environments. Rock ledges and cliffs are used for breeding and roosting in the wild. They are usually found all over the world, especially in Europe, North Africa and western Asia. In some areas, these birds are viewed as pest. A rock pigeon’s lifespan is anywhere from 3–5 years in the wild to 15 years in captivity, though longer-lived specimens have been reported. However review full breed profile of the Rock pigeon in the following chart.
Rock Pigeon | Breed Profile
|Other Name||Rock dove, blue rock dove|
|Breed Purpose||Feral or wild|
|Special Notes||Beautiful birds, very hardy and active, good flyer, usually seen the field searching for grains or green foods, good parents, sometimes viewed as pest, long lived|
|Climate Tolerance||All climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||Wild|