Pigeons and Doves (Columbidae)

Rock Dove (Columba livia) - HBW 4, p. 113

French: Pigeon biset German: Felsentaube Spanish: Paloma Bravía
Other common names: Rock Pigeon; feral pigeon (feral form)

Taxonomy: Columba (domestica) b livia J. F. Gmelin, 1789, southern Europe.
Ancestor of feral pigeon. Closely related to C. rupestris of C Asia and C. leuconota of Himalayas. Race nigricans may refer to feral birds, and thus be invalid. Considerable confusion as to the degree to which several populations are “natural”, and how much they have been affected by mixing with feral birds. Thirteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • livia J. F. Gmelin, 1789 - British Is and W Mediterranean through Dalmatia and N Libya E to Urals, Caucasus and W Siberia.
  • atlantis Bannerman, 1931 - Madeira, Azores and Cape Verde Is.
  • canariensis Bannerman, 1914 - Canary Is and islands off Morocco.

     See all 13 subspecies
  • livia J. F. Gmelin, 1789 - British Is and W Mediterranean through Dalmatia and N Libya E to Urals, Caucasus and W Siberia.
  • atlantis Bannerman, 1931 - Madeira, Azores and Cape Verde Is.
  • canariensis Bannerman, 1914 - Canary Is and islands off Morocco.
  • gymnocyclus G. R. Gray, 1856 - Mauritania, Mali and Ghana, and coastal Senegambia and Guinea.
  • targia Geyr von Schweppenburg, 1916 - C Sahara to C Sudan.
  • dakhlae R. Meinertzhagen, 1928 - Dakhla and Kharga Oases.
  • butleri R. Meinertzhagen, 1921 - Gebeit, Red Sea Province and Egyptian Sudan.
  • schimperi Bonaparte, 1854 - Nile valley to Khartoum; Red Sea hills from E Egypt to N Eritrea.
  • palaestinae Zedlitz, 1912 - Palestine, Sinai and Arabia S to Aden and Masqat.
  • gaddi Zarudny & Loudon, 1906 - Azerbaijan, Iran, W & N Afghanistan, Turkmeniya, Ustyurt Plateau in Transcaspia and Uzbekistan.
  • neglecta Hume, 1873 - Transcaspia and Turkestan S to Iran, Baluchistan, Sind and NW Punjab, and E to Tien Shan and SW Tibet.
  • intermedia Strickland, 1844 - India and Sri Lanka.
  • nigricans Buturlin, 1908 - Mongolia and N China in Shanxi, Jilin and Gansu.