Along with the House
Sparrow, probably the most familiar of introduced bird species in the United
States. First introduced into the United States in the 1600's, the
domesticated form of the Rock Dove is often called the "homing
pigeon", due to its strong abilities in returning to a home location upon a
distant release. Perhaps less detrimental to native birds than many
introduced species, the presence of Rock Doves in urban settings is largely
responsible for supporting urban populations of Peregrine Falcons and Merlins.
Habitat: Primarily found around cities
and other human-occupied locations and structures. Can also be found in
wild settings such as around cliffs and bluffs.
Diet: Primarily feeds on seeds. In cities, will
attend feeders for most seeds, but will also take a wide variety of human
foods. In rural settings, feeds on waste grain and many types of
Behavior: Forages by walking along the ground,
picking food items off the surface. Gregarious, often feeding in
Nesting: May through August
Song: Familiar repetitive cooing.
throughout its range.
Feeders: Will attend for most seeds, as well as a very
wide variety of human food including bread, other baked goods, and popcorn.
Conservation Status: Numbers steady throughout its
range, abundant in cities throughout the United States, despite eradication
efforts in some areas.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Rock Dove"
eNature.com: Rock Dove
Photo Information: December 9th, 2011 - San Francisco,
California - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on image chips below for
higher-resolution photos of the Rock Dove.