A Rock Pigeon is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Rock Pigeons. We have also put together a list of fun Rock Pigeon t-shirts, Rock Pigeon bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Rock Pigeons
Also referred to as the common pigeon are mostly found in rocky areas and urban areas. They are an abundant and widely spread breed due to their ability to adapt to urban settings allowing them to colonize various parts of the globe.
Description and Identification
Adult Rock Pigeons are 11-15 inches long, with a wingspan of 24-28 inches. They have salmon-colored feet, a bluish-gray head, neck, and chest, with a glossy purplish, yellowish, and greenish
shimmer along with its wing and neck feathers. The irises are orange, golden, or red with a pale inner
ring. In very uncommon cases, pigeons also have white-gray eyes. These birds have grayish-black
beaks, with off-white ceres. Males and females are almost identical, with the only difference being
that the males have a more apparent iridescence on their necks. Younglings lack the luster of the
Rock Pigeon Color Pattern
They show a pale gray color with two lines of black on each wing with others having a distinct blue-gray color. They are plump birds with a thin bill and a small straight head which is blue-gray in color. They have short legs and pointed wings with a wide rounded tail.
Rock Pigeon Size
There is no clear-cut difference between females and males in terms of size with length, weight, and wingspan as follows:
- Length 29 – 37 cm
- Weight 238 – 380 g
- Wingspan 62 – 72 cm
Rock Pigeon Behavior
The Rock Pigeon can be listed as ground foragers because they tend to feed on food the ground and drink water by using their bills as straws. When threatened they coo and bow as they inflate their throats. Pigeon pairs tend to flock together and are monogamous with the pair staying with an average of two young birds per pair. The male courts the female by grasping at her bill and then offers food. During the breeding season the female crouches as the male jumps on her back.
What Rock Pigeon Eat
Despite being omnivorous, rock pigeons prefer plant matter; especially fruits and grains. The most
common food source for pigeons in urban areas is food grains scattered by humans, human
leftovers, or littered food. Pigeons rarely eat invertebrates when there is a scarcity of plant matter.
These birds have a unique ability to use their beaks like straws, only having to dip their beaks in
water to drink, instead of taking small sips like other birds. During the feeding period, pigeons
separate into two groups; scroungers and producers. The producers find and obtain the food,
whereas the scroungers gorge on the food obtained by the producers. The scroungers easily
outnumber the producers.
Rock pigeons mostly feed on seeds, fruits, and leftovers from people including leftover breadcrumbs and litter.
Where Rock Pigeons Live
Rock Pigeons mostly reside in urban areas and farmlands. Some rock pigeons also reside in semi-
wild areas such as rocky cliffs and inland mountains. Being social birds, pigeons often form large
colonies containing hundreds of birds. Pigeons are a common sight at parks where they appear in
flocks, expecting to be fed. Most pigeons that choose buildings, ledges, or walls to build their
nests damage and dirty these structures through their corrosive fecal matter.
Mostly found in flocks in urban parks where people feed them. They have a naturally restricted residence in Europe, North Africa, and Southern Asia. But due to their large migration range, it is hard to narrow down their original home.
Range and Migration
Rock Pigeons, commonly known as common city pigeons are widely spread across South Asia,
North Africa, and western and southern Europe. Their global population is so vast that it is
estimated that Europe alone is home to 17-28 million Rock Pigeons. These birds are a common
sight in all urban areas as they pleasantly co-exist with humans. They do not migrate, but if
somehow displaced from their nests they can easily find their way back home.
Rock Pigeon Lifecycle
A pair usually raises two young ones. Once the two eggs are laid the incubation is shared among the two parents for 17 to 19 days and once hatched they are fed on crop milk produced by both parents and the young ones fly away after 30 days.
Rock Pigeon Nesting
Rock Pigeons are monogamous birds that mate for life. Males court the females by strutting their
tails wide, puffing their chests up, and strutting in circles around the females. While circling the
females, the males repeatedly bow and coo. The males display affection by grabbing the female’s
bill and regurgitating food. Males climb up on the crouched back of the females when they are
ready to mate. Both males and females build the nests together, with the males mostly assisting in
gathering materials such as straws or stems. The nests are flimsy platforms, laid undercover on
the window ledges of buildings. Both members contribute towards the incubation of eggs which
lasts from 17-19 days. Younglings are fed a milky liquid called pigeon milk which is regurgitated
from the crops of the adults.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Rock Pigeons
The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing Rock Pigeons are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Rock Pigeon T-shirts
If you love the Rock Pigeon you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Rock Pigeon Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Rock Pigeon is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Rock Pigeon Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Rock Pigeon. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders For Rock Pigeon
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Rock Pigeon
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.