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Domestic Dove

Columba livia domestica
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
They have no natural range.
Rock doves are naturally found on rock faces, ledges in caves, and sea cliffs where birds nest. They have adapted to living in an urban environment where food is abundant.

NOTE: This dove does not have a “natural” history as it is a domesticated subspecies. This article will cover their lives in human care and some information about Rock Doves, from which they are descended.

Pigeons and doves have been domesticated for so long (over 5,000 years) that it’s hard to tell the difference between wild and domestic version, especially since there is a lot of overlap. They eat a broad plant-based foraging diet, including grains, seeds, and fruit.

They are monogamous, and work together on most aspects of reproduction. Males build the nest and the females lay their eggs shortly after.  Baby pigeons are called squeakers or squabs.  Like other pigeons, they produce “crop milk” for their young.  The parent’s crop secretes a white solid food that young pigeons can eat.

They also can generate suction with their beak and drink while facing downwards, which is unusual for birds.