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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Rock Dove -- Columba livia

RANGE: Resident from southern Alaska and southern Canada south throughout North America. Introduced; originally an Eurasian species.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: May inhabit narrow, steep-walled canyons and rocky cliffs, but far more commonly found near human habitations.

NEST: Prefers to nest on or in structures that provide narrow ledges similar to cliff ledges. Constructs a flimsy nest on stone, brick, and concrete buildings in cities, high upon ledges, under windows, under bridges, on monuments, in barns or other man-made structures, preferably in semi-dark cavities. May nest singly or in colonies.

FOOD: Commonly feeds on parkland, sidewalks, and parking lots in cities; cultivated fields; feedlots; and wastelands. Gleans seeds of weeds, grasses, and grains, takes human handouts, and eats a few berries and tender roots of grasses.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Johnsgard 1979, Terres 1980.

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