Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)

Rock Pigeon


The rock dove, rock pigeon, or common pigeon (/ˈpɪdʒ.ən/ also /ˈpɪdʒ.ɪn/; Columba livia) is a member of the bird family Columbidae (doves and pigeons).: 624  In common usage, it is often simply referred to as the "pigeon".

Distribution And Habitat

The Rock Pigeon is native to Europe and Asia, and has been introduced throughout the world (Oberle 2018), where it is now a common resident in the northern Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, the Virgin and Cayman Islands, and in large towns of the Lesser Antilles (Raffaele and others 1998). It regularly inhabits many town plazas throughout Puerto Rico (Oberle 2018), and it is also common in urban areas of Vieques (Gemmill 2015). Habitat includes mostly city streets and parks, buildings (Oberle 2018), and populated rural areas (Raffaele and others 1998). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of 603 records within 347 hexagons or 72 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the 347 hexagons where this pigeon was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 32 percent (110) of the hexagons, probable in 34 percent (117), and possible in 35 percent (120) (see map).

Rock Pigeon Distribution

Breeding Habits

The Rock Pigeon builds a nest made of sticks and other plant material that is often placed on human-made structures such as buildings, bridges, store fronts (Oberle 2018), or any other available ledge (Raffaele and others 1998). Previously published reports indicate that breeding occurs throughout Rock Pigeon distribution. The map shows the highest breeding code by hexagon and overlaying the ecological life zones in Puerto Rico. Note: percentages may not total 100 due to rounding. 41Rock Pigeon/Paloma Domésticathe year (Raffaele and others 1998). Atlas results show that this species breeds throughout the year with the most breeding activity from March to June (see chart). Overall, the breeding activity peaks in June, and it mostly takes place within the subtropical moist forest life zone (see chart). Atlas results show that this species breeds mostly within the subtropical moist forest life zone (63 percent of the hexagons) (see table) but also in the subtropical dry forest life zone (17 percent of the hexagons) and within subtropical wet and subtropical rain forest life zones at higher elevations (20 and <1 percent of the hexagons, respectively) (see table and map).


The current population trend of the Rock Pigeon is described as decreasing in Israel (del Hoyo and others 2013), but elsewhere the species is currently listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2016). Locally, this species is not listed in any of the threatened categories of PRDNER and USFWS. In Puerto Rico, the Rock Pigeon has a protected habitat in land of 11 percent or 904 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (8276 km2).