Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Rock Pigeon - Columba livia
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General Comments This Old World, introduced species needs no introduction. The Rock Pigeon is one of the few species whose range and habitats are closely tied to man, and seldom is it found in remote habitats in the New World. (In its native range, in southern Europe, northern Africa, etc., it nests on cliffs and other rocky ledges -- hence the common name.) The common name of Rock Dove was in use in North America for many decades, and was changed to the more appropriate Rock Pigeon, in 2003?. (Pigeons as a group tend to be stockier, with a squared or rounded tail, than are doves, which are usually slender with long tails. However, these names -- pigeons and doves -- are loose, with little taxonomic value.) In the state, this species occurs mainly in cities, towns, and farmyards, less so in residential areas and in rural country (away from farms). However, it does utilize bridge overpasses for nesting, even where somewhat remote from civilization.
Breeding Status Breeder; Introduced
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SE
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Permanent resident; non-migratory. Common to locally abundant throughout, except generally uncommon on coastal islands, and may be locally rare to absent on a few islands. Peak counts: ?
Piedmont Permanent resident; non-migratory. Common to abundant in cities and larger towns; less numerous in rural areas. Peak counts: ?
Mountains Permanent resident; non-migratory. Common to very common in cities; common in towns and farmyards, but mainly at lower elevations, below 2,500 feet. Scarce above about 3,500 feet. Peak counts: ?
Finding Tips None needed.
Attribution LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2012-06-24], LeGrand[2011-12-07]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.
NC Breeding Season Map
Map depicts assumed breeding season abundance for the species.