Scientific Name: Columbia livia
Size: 33 to 36 cm
What does it look like?
The Rock Dove is a robust, moderately large pigeon, with much colour variation, although is most commonly a mixture on pale and dark greys or pale browns. Legs are coral pink.
Where is it found?
The Rock Dove, Feral or Street Pigeon, is found in close association with human settlement throughout much of the world. While there is no real indication as to when the species was introduced into Australia, large numbers of birds have been documented since the early to mid nineteenth century. It is native to Europe, Africa and Asia, where it prefers open agricultural areas.
What are its habitats & habits?
While it is found in large numbers in most major centres of Australia, it has not ventured far from human settlement. On any street, birds are seen pecking at the ground, in a never-ending search for food, and, although it is primarily a seed-eater, the Rock Dove will investigate and eat most scraps. The Rock Dove breeds along coastal cliff faces, as well as artificial cliff faces, such as apartment buildings with accessible ledges or roof spaces.
The Rock Dove’s association with humans dates back through the centuries, when they were domesticated by the Egyptians, over 6000 years ago.
This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots