Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Jim Parrish
Photo Copyright Jim Parrish

The rock pigeon, Columba livia, is native to Eurasia, but is now common worldwide due to domestication and introduction. It is exotic (nonnative) in Utah, where it is quite common. In native regions, the rock pigeon inhabits rocky coastal areas, river valleys, and canyons. Feral birds (domestic birds reverted to a free-roaming state) are more commonly associated with cities and farmlands.

Nesting occurs on rocky cliffs, trees, or man-made structures, such as building and bridges. A clutch of two eggs is incubated by both parents for about 18 days. The young, which are tended by both parents, fledge at about five weeks of age. Females may have more than one brood per year.

The rock pigeon is active during the day and non-migratory. Seeds make up the bulk of the diet, although other plant matter is occasionally consumed. Many people refer to the rock pigeon as the rock dove or the domestic pigeon.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.