The Rock Pigeon, also known as rock dove or common pigeon (/ˈpɪdʒ.ən/ also /ˈpɪdʒ.ɪn/; Columba livia) is a medium-size compact pigeon with long wings and a short tail. Rock Pigeons are tubby birds with tiny heads and short legs, bigger and plumper than a Mourning Dove. It is a member of the Columbidae (dove and pigeon) bird family. In common usage, this bird is often simply referred to as the “pigeon”. Very closely resembling their wild ancestors, birds are gray with darker head and neck than tail, and a prominent white rump. Blacktips on the larger covers and prominent black bars on the inner wing of the secondary, and a broad black terminal band is on the tail. Different in color, but with two black bands on the wing and a black tip to the tail, most birds are bluish-grey. Most birds have feathers iridescent to the neck. Wing patterns may include two lines, dark spots, or maybe clear. The tail tends to be dark-tipped. Habitats involve various ecosystems that are open and semi-open. Cliffs and rock ledges are used in the forest for roosting and breeding. Initially found wild in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, pigeons have established themselves in cities all over the world. The species is common in Europe alone, with an estimated population of 17 to 28 million feral and wild birds, and up to 120 million worldwide.
Pigeons sometimes assemble in flocks, walk or run on the ground and peck for food. When alarmed, the flock could suddenly fly into the air, and circle several times before coming down again. Male adult: metallic green and violet iridescence on neck and breast; orange to red iris; orbital blue-gray skin; black grayish; and dark red feet. Adult female: sort of a male, but iridescence on neck and breast more restricted and subdued. Juvenile: generally browner lacks iridescence; orbital skin and feet gray. Among standard measurements, the wing chord is often around 22.3 cm (8.8 in), the tail is 9.5 to 11 cm (3.7 to 4.3 in), the bill is around 1.8 cm (0.71 in), and therefore the tarsus is 2.6 to 3.5 cm (1.0 to 1.4 in). In the southwestern United States, Rock Pigeons with red plumage may be more common than in northern and eastern regions. Gregarious and large flocks formed, it feeds during the day on handouts and grains in city parks and open fields; roosts on night-time homes. In the outward appearance, the adult female is almost similar to the male, but the iridescence on her neck is less intense and more confined to the rear and sides, whereas that on the breast is sometimes very obscure. Flocks or otherwise displaced pigeons may be found removed from civilization. Breeding: nest is loosely constructed of twigs and leaves, totally on structures like window ledges, bridges, and in barns; has 2 white eggs. A rock pigeon’s lifespan ranges from 3–5 years within the wild to fifteen years in captivity, though longer-lived specimens are reported.