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Conservation status: Green

The rock dove is the wild ancestor of domestic pigeons the world over, domesticated originally to provide food. Feral pigeons come in all shades, some bluer, others blacker - some are pale grey with darker chequered markings, others an unusual shade of dull brick-red or cinnamon-brown, and still others can be or less white while others look exactly like wild rock doves. In urban areas where the numbers are allowed to increase they can become pests.



Latin name

Columba livia


Pigeons and doves (Columbidae)

Where to see them

The wild rock dove is now found only along the north and west coasts of Scotland, on offshore islands, and on Northern Ireland coasts. Feral, or domestic, pigeons breed almost everywhere apart from upland areas, with the highest density in the most populated urban and suburban areas.

When to see them

All year round

What they eat

Seeds and cereals.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-550,000 pairs--




Stuart Fisher, Xeno-canto

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