Wood pigeon walking in an urban park

Pigeons and doves

Pigeons and doves are one of the most cosmopolitan of bird families. All easily recognisable, some are even brightly coloured and beautiful - even the pesky, city-dwelling pigeon has a certain head-bobbing charm. Pigeons and doves thrive in pretty much every habitat on Earth, only the Arctic Circle and Antarctica have none.

One of the most famous, or infamous, extinctions of recent times was a species of pigeon. The passenger pigeon was perhaps the most numerous bird that ever lived, however, billions were wiped out in under 50 years. Explore some of the remaining 300 or so species from the turtle dove and Old World pigeon groups below.

Scientific name: Columbidae

Rank: Family

Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Pigeons and doves taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Columbiformes
  6. Pigeons and doves

BBC News about Pigeons and doves