The Rock Dove (Columba livia), or feral pigeon, is a member of
the family Columbidae, Doves and Pigeons. In common usage, this
bird is often simply referred to as the "pigeon". The
American Ornithologists' Union has changed the official popular
North American name of the bird to Rock Pigeon. The Rock Dove
has a restricted natural resident range in western and southern
Europe, North Africa and into southwest Asia. Its habitat is natural
cliffs, usually on coasts. Its domesticated form, the feral pigeon,
has been widely introduced elsewhere, and is common, especially
in cities, over much of the world. In Britain and Ireland, the
Rock Dove probably only occurs pure in the most remote areas.
The white lower back of the pure Rock Dove is its best character,
but the two black bars on its pale grey wings are distinct.
The tail is margined
with white. It is strong and quick on the wing, dashing out from
the sea caves, flying low over the water, its white rump showing
well from above. The head and neck of the mature bird are a darker
blue-grey than the back and wings; the lower back is white. The
green and lilac or purple patch on the side of the neck is larger
than that of the Stock Dove, and the tail is more distinctly banded.
Young birds show little lustre and are duller. Little parties
will circle over the sea and the cliff tops, when the white under
wing is equally conspicuous. In its flight, behaviour, and voice,
which is more of a dovecot coo than the phrase of the Wood Pigeon,
it is a typical pigeon.
courtesy: Us Fish & Wildlife Service 004-005.jpg courtesy:
Fun Group Inc. 006-012.jpg courtesy: Us Fish & Wildlife Service