Wildlife Viewing

Pigeons and doves are familiar to Oregonians. They can be seen throughut the state.

Pigeons and doves are a familiar sight, daintily walking and bobbing their heads. Rock pigeons and Eurasian collared-doves are natives of Europe while Band-tailed pigeons and Mourning doves are native to Oregon.

 

Types of Doves and Pigeons

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Rock pigeon

Columba livia

The Rock pigeon is an invasive species introduced from Europe. It is found in and about human-created structures, e.g., masonry buildings, parking structures, barns, abandoned houses, bridges, water towers and freeway overpasses that posses cornices, ledges, and cave-like cavities used for nesting and shelter.

Pigeons forage in city streets and parks on food refuse, public handouts, and weed seeds, and on grain spilled at shipping facilities and along transportation corridors. In agricultural areas they forage in livestock feedlots and fields.

It is common to abundant statewide in cities, towns and agricultural areas.

Hear the call of the Rock pigeon

Photo by ©Greg Gilson

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Band-tailed pigeon

Patagioenas fasciata

About the size of the domestic pigeon, this swift-flying species is popular among sport hunters.

An arboreal bird, it is often observed perched alone on top of a tall tree or in flocks when flying about feeding areas and mineral sites. This is a common summer resident in forested areas west of the Cascade crest. It typically nests in forested mountain areas in the west Cascades.

Hear the call of the Band-tailed pigeon

Photo by Dave Budeau, ODFW

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Eurasian collared-dove

Streptopelia decaocto

The Eurasian collared-dove is quite similar to the Ringed turtle-dove but is somewhat larger with grayer underparts and darker primaries. It is a bird of agricultural areas and readily visits bird feeding stations in urban and rural neighborhoods.

During the 1600s this Indian species began to expand its range until today it occurs in all of Europe and most of Asia. After introductions in the Bahamas in 1974 and Guadeloupe in 1976 it soon expanded throughout the Caribbean and reached Florida by 1980. It is now expanding into other parts of North America, reaching Oregon in 1988. It is expected to eventually colonize most of North America.

Hear the call of the Eurasian collared-dove

Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp

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Mourning dove

Zenaida macroura

The mournful, drawn-out coo, coo, coo vocalization of a male Mourning dove advertising for a mate is a familiar sound to suburbanites and country-dwellers alike. Annual sunflower is a popular food in Oregon.

This species is abundant in spring, summer, and early fall statewide in open landscapes, except along the coast and in the higher elevations of the east Cascades.

Hear the call of the Mourning dove

Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp