Pigeon in flight

Pigeon

Pigeons are domesticated rock doves that have returned to wild or semi-wild conditions. Some were domesticated for food, others as homing pigeons and some as ‘fancy’ pigeons bred for their plumage. Wild rock doves feed on seeds but the diet of the pigeon has grown to include food discarded by well-intentioned people. With all this food available, numbers are on the up, but these colourful, head-bobbing city dwellers don't have everything their own way. Peregrine falcons are increasingly exploiting them as a food source.

Did you know?
Pigeons only have 40 taste buds, we have 10,000.

All you need to know about British birds.

Scientific name: Columba livia

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Common pigeon,
  • Feral pigeon,
  • Feral rock dove,
  • Rock dove,
  • Rock pigeon

Watch video clips from past programmes (1 clip)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Pigeon taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Pigeon can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Madagascar, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Pigeon distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Sounds

BBC News about Pigeon

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Garden birds Garden birds

    Nestcam close-ups, expert identification guides and specialist wildlife cameras give a privileged view of a very British obsession: garden birds.