Feral Pigeon

Social Sharing

Scientific Name: Columba livia
Size: 32cm
Weight: 300g
Wingspan: 66cm
Lifespan: 3 years
Breeding: March
Number of Clutches: 2-5
Number of Eggs: 1-2
Incubation Days: 16-19
Fledg Days: 35-37
Habitat: Cliffs, caves & eaves
Distribution: Originally Eurasia & n Africa


Descended from the Rock Dove, the Feral, Town or Domestic Pigeon, as it is variably known, can have a very similar appearance but there are also numerous variations of blacks, browns, white and even piebald. They tend to be larger than Rock Doves, probably as a result of mixed breeding. Rock Doves are blue-grey on both the upper and under parts, being slightly paler on the back with a white patch on the rump. It has iridescent markings of purple and green at the neck, two black wing-bars on the grey wings and red eyes and legs.


The nest of twigs is built on a ledge by both sexes but mostly by the female.The white eggs are smooth and glossy, and about 39 mm by 29 mm in size. Both parents share the duty of incubating the eggs and feeding the nestlings.


The feral pigeon feeds on grain, seeds and kitchen scraps.

Legal Status

Feral Pigeons have become a nuisance in many towns and cities because their droppings accumulate and pose a health hazard to us. Additionally, the droppings are acidic and cause damage to the stonework of buildings. The expansion of its range and hybridisation with Rock Doves is so successful that relatively few "pure" Rock Doves remain.


The call is a continuous, bubbling moan.

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