Pigeon

Scientific Name
Columba livia
Also Known As
Rock Dove, Common Pigeon
Range
All of Florida
Diet
Grains, Human Waste
Life Expectancy
2 - 5 Years
Columbidae ( common Pigeon)

Photo 188735119 © Josiah Londerée, CC BY-NC

Pigeon conservation status - Invasive

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American Crows in Central Florida

The rock pigeon (Columba livia) is a common bird found in urban and rural areas of central Florida. Often referred to as the domestic pigeon, feral pigeons descend from domesticated breeds of the old world rock dove. They thrive in the warm climate and available food sources of central Florida environments.

This comprehensive guide provides identification tips, biology facts, and prevention methods for pigeons in central Florida. Read on to learn pigeon habits, reproduction, diet, health risks, signs of infestation, and professional treatment options if you need to manage pigeon problems on your property.

Appearance and Identification

Pigeons can be identified by their characteristic features

Adult Pigeon

Photo 265163591 © urzuaruby, CC BY-NC

Adult Pigeons

  • Size: Adults grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) long with a wingspan around 18 inches (46 cm). Weight ranges from 9 to 24 oz (255 to 680 g).
  • Plumage: Wild type coloration is blue-gray with an iridescent green-purple neck. Markings vary widely – some have white patches, dark wing bars, etc.
  • Beak: The beak is about 0.7 inches long, sturdy, and serrated along the cutting edges. The cere at the base is whitish.
  • Feet: Yellow to reddish feet with 3 forward-facing toes and 1 reversed hind toe adapted for perching.
Juvenile Pigeon

Photo 85481179 © crayshack, CC BY-NC

Juvenile Pigeons

  • Size: Newly hatched squabs are about 1.6-1.8 inches (4-4.5 cm) long and weigh around 1.2 ounces (34 grams). They reach adult size at 4-6 weeks old.
  • Plumage: Juvenile plumage is grayish with light gray down. There is little to no iridescent neck coloring.
  • Features: Younger pigeons have a smaller beak and cere. Their eyes are closed at birth and open within 4-6 days.
The Pigeon Eggs

Photo 285372301 © Caroline H. Synakowski, CC BY-NC

Pigeon Eggs

  • Pigeon eggs are uniformly white and elliptical in shape, with their small size helping to identify them.
  • Size: Pigeon eggs are about 1-1.5 inches (25-38 mm) long and 0.8-1 inch (20-25 mm) wide.
  • Shape: The elliptical or oval shape has one end slightly more pointed than the other.
  • Color: The shell is glossy pure white, lacking spots or markings.
  • Shell: The texture is smooth and delicate with a high gloss sheen.
  • Clutch: Pigeons lay 1-2 eggs per clutch and can have multiple clutches per year.
  • Nest: The parents take turns incubating the eggs for about 18 days in a flimsy nest of twigs, grass, and debris.

Maturation Rate

Young pigeons develop rapidly after hatching. Their eyes open at 4-6 days old and they are covered in juvenile down by 2 weeks old. By 3-4 weeks, flight feathers emerge and squabs are venturing out of nests by 5 weeks while still partly dependent on crop milk from parents.

They start picking up and eating seeds shortly after fledging. Maturation completes between 3 to 6 months when juvenile plumage is replaced with adult feathers and pigeons reach sexual maturity for breeding.