Our Wild Neighbors

Domestic Pigeon

Columba livia f. domestica

Confirmed city dweller in Southern Canada

Image of a Rock Dove, mounted perched on a brown base and seen from the side with its head to the right.

Description of the animal

  • Descendant of the Rock Pigeon.
  • Small round head, short bill, thickset body, straight, pointed wings.
  • Bluish grey plumage, paler on the back.
  • Iridescent green and purple on the sides of the neck that attract the eye.
  • Two black bands on the wings.

Habitat and needs

  • Capable of flying, but most often found on the ground. The Domestic Pigeon is known for its nonchalant approach and soft cooing.
  • Feeds in a group, with others of its species. The Pigeon eats virtually anything it finds.
  • Is a Canadian citizen year round. The Domestic Pigeon nests under architectural ornamentations and on ledges of buildings.
  • Can have five broods per year or even more, with one or two eggs per brood.

Relationship

  • Some people like to throw the Pigeon pieces of bread in the park or on terraces. Others cannot tolerate its presence and regard it as a real plague.
  • Pigeon excrement dirties houses, cars, monuments; it can even fall on passersby!
  • All sorts of techniques are used to control Pigeon populations: poisoning, trapping, introduction of predators, sterilization, and birth control.
  • Because of the avian flu, the presence of numerous Pigeons has become a concern.

Living with them

  • To keep Pigeons away, don’t feed them. Remove any sources of food by ensuring garbage cans are tightly closed.
  • Cities provide the Pigeon with many places to live. Install obstacles on ledges to dissuade it from building its nest there.

Participating cities where this animal has been seen