Rock Dove

Did you know?

The Rock Dove, often refered to as the 'Feral Pigeon', is one of three introduced pigeon and dove species to Australia. Rock Doves originated in Europe, Asia and Africa and are often bred as racing pigeons.

Calls
The most common call is a moaning 'cooo-rooooo-cu-cu'.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
33cm
Maximum Size: 
36cm
Average size: 
34cm
Average weight: 
300g
Breeding season: 
July to February; can breed at any time
Conservation Status
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
957
What does it look like?
Description: 

Australian Rock Doves, also known as Feral Pigeons, are descended from the Rock Pigeon, found in Europe and Asia. Many plumage variants have been developed by selective breeding over the years and the most common colours of feral birds are a mixture of grey, black, white and brown, with purple and green sheens.

Similar species: 

At close range, the Rock Dove cannot be mistaken for any other bird. Distant flocks may be confused with those of the slightly larger Topknot Pigeon, Lopholaimus antarcticus, or the White-headed PigeonC. leucomela. Dead Rock Doves washed up on beaches are often mistaken for seabirds.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Rock Dove is native to Europe, Africa and Asia. In Australia, the Rock Dove has not ventured far from human settlement, being found in large numbers in capital cities and larger towns, with the exception of Darwin.

Habitat: 

In its native range, the Rock Dove prefers open agricultural areas. Wild birds have been largely swamped by the great numbers of feral individuals. These feral populations are closely associated with human settlement in many countries throughout the world.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Although it is mainly a seed-eater, the Rock Dove will sample most scraps. In city streets and parks, birds are seen pecking at the ground in a never-ending search for food.

Breeding: 

Nesting sites are situated along coastal cliff faces, as well as the artificial cliff faces created by apartment buildings with accessible ledges or roof spaces. Rock Doves nest in large colonies which quickly deface buildings with their droppings.

Living with us

Rock Doves nest in large colonies which can deface buildings with their droppings.

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