How to Identify Birds: The Pigeon

Pigeons, or more precisely, rock pigeons, are the blue-gray birds that wander around public squares all over the world. With these guidelines, you should have no difficulty identifying this bird.


  • Step 1: Observe the bird's size and shape Consider the bird's appearance through binoculars and compare it with the pictures in your field guide. Pigeons are stocky with small heads and short legs, have broad and pointed wings, and have tails that are wide and rounded.
  • Step 2: Observe the bird's coloring Consider the bird's coloring. Pigeons vary in color, but most are blue-gray with two black bands on their wings.
  • Step 3: Observe the bird's behavior Consider the bird's behavior. Pigeons usually gather in flocks while searching for food on the ground. When disturbed, they may take flight, circle several timers, and then land again.
  • TIP: Pigeons often become tame in cities and town parks, and may feed from the hands of humans. They retain the timidity of wild birds, however, and will startle at the sound of a sudden noise.
  • Step 4: Observe the bird's call Consider the bird's call. Male pigeons have a call that sounds like a deep, guttural cooing.
  • FACT: Male and female pigeons both produce protein- and fat-rich pigeon milk, which they feed to their offspring.

You Will Need

  • Binoculars
  • A field guide

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