Common Name: Feral pigeon or Rock dove

Scientific Name: Columba livia


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Columbiformes


Genus: Columba

Species: C. livia


Columba livia is a very unique class of birds. It consists of two types of birds, the Feral Pigeon and the Rock Dove. There is a lot of information on these birds for example, where they live otherwise known as their habitat. Second, their characteristics what they look like, how tall they are etc… Third, their diet, what do they eat, who do they compete for food with. Fourth, their adaptations, how did they adapt to where they live, how many are left. Those were a few examples of things you’ll learn in this essay.


First off, pigeons have many characteristics. For example, Pigeons and Doves are found in many sizes, some from 5.9 to 31.5 inches in length and all the way to 1.1 and 4.4 pounds. They have exceptionally small necks that sit on a small body and a small head that sits on their neck. Pigeons have wings that are wide and long which are similar to their tail. The tail is long and can be wide or pointed. Unlike most birds pigeons have bills instead of beaks. Their bills are short in size. Their family Columbidae contains mostly gray, cream colored or brown birds although, some tropical species are very colorful.


Pigeons and doves have an interesting diet of food.  Columba livia are granivorous meaning they eat seeds and grains. They usually pick the seeds from the ground or they pick them off of grass stems (blades). Granivorous columba livia can also eat buds, flowers, leaves, and stems when their main diet of seeds are unavailable. They compete with humans for food, they must scavenge for it as more of us take it away from them.


There are many habitats in which Feral pigeons and Rock doves live in. For example, they can live in the desert, particularly in California and Australia. Additionally, rock doves can live on rocky seaside cliffs by green food and feral pigeons can live on tall buildings in the city or in the country in old farm buildings. Columba livia are mostly found in the city in places like New York or California. Even though they are pests in the USA they do well in this ecosystem because they pick up after us. They’ll eat your leftover popcorn you threw away last week, or that taco you were just to full to eat. They’re kind of helpful in a weird way. When you really THINK about it, Columba livia birds are very cool.


Feral pigeons and Rock doves have caused problems with the human population, because of this hatred towards pigeons and doves, these poor birds have had to adapt to this new life style. Humans have constructed many buildings over the years and to survive pigeons must nest in these man made buildings. This adaptation has caused even more problems among our society. There are millions of pigeons and doves around the world and their population is growing each day. But it’s also dropping as more and more people get irritated with these creatures they begin to hunt them, poison them, destroy there nests, and kill there offspring. Humans are the reason numbers in Columba livia are dropping and rising all over the place.


Columba livia is indeed a very unique class of birds. The information on these birds is infinite. For example, they have adapted to live anywhere. Their granivores, meaning they eat seeds and they probably distribute them too. They can come in many colors. Also, they have bills instead of beaks. They’re wings are long which makes flying easy. I noticed while I was reading about Columba livia that they are a huge problem within our fifty states. All in all these birds were fun to learn about and they are truly very interesting creatures.



Author: Mellissa C.

Published: 3/2010



<a href="">Pigeons and Doves: Columbidae - Habitat</a>-u can some good notes


 Read more: Pigeons and Doves: Columbidae - Physical Characteristics