There are many different types of pigeons that can be found in North America. One of the most common ones in Pennsylvania is the Rock Pigeon. Rock pigeons were originally introduced by European settlers and have since become widespread across southern Canada and the contiguous United States. They are sometimes called rock doves or common pigeons. Rock pigeons have been domesticated for thousands of years and used as food, pets, homing pigeons, and carrier pigeons.
|Appearance||Rock pigeons are medium-sized birds with long wings and short tails. They have gray heads, white rumps, and black tips on their wings. Adult male rock pigeons have metallic green and purple iridescence on their neck and breast and adult females have similar, more subdued coloring. Juvenile rock pigeons are browner and do not have the iridescence.|
|Length||11 to 13 inches, with a 20 to 20 inch wingspan|
|Weight||Anywhere from 8.5 to 13 ounces|
|Habitat||Rock pigeons tend to live in open and semi-open areas. They reside in urban areas and, in the wild, around cliffs and rock ledges.|
|Predators||Great horned owls, house cats, opossums, raccoons, red-tailed hawks, and peregrine falcons|
|Location in Pennsylvania||Statewide|
|Extra facts||Rock pigeons tend to form large flocks, even in urban areas.|
They are generally monogamous and will have two young per brood. Both parents will help to care for the young.
Their feathers are attached loosely and they will sometimes use them as a distraction to escape from predators.
Pigeons leave their waste on roofs and buildings where people reside. They build nests in barns and buildings. They eat grains for livestock and can spread bird diseases to poultry.
Pigeons can be shot with firearms and trapped using a variety of live trap devices.
For more information about pigeons, check out National Geographic’s bird facts.