Band-tailed Pigeons

Jet Eliot

Band-tailed Pigeon pair Band-tailed Pigeon pair

With the cool days waning and spring in full bloom, our wonderful large flocks of winter pigeons have now moved on.  But they’ll be back.

Unlike city pigeons, they live in oak and coniferous forests at altitudes of 3,000 to 12,000 feet (900-3,600m), primarily along the U.S. west coast and southwest, Mexico & South America.

The closest extant relative to the passenger pigeon, Patagioenas fasciata isthe biggest pigeon in North America, measuring 13-16 inches long and weighing over eight pounds.

Band-tailed Pigeon, CA Band-tailed Pigeon, CA

They winter here in northern California, and migrate in the spring (see map). A dozen or so live in our neighborhood year round.

Due to their nomadic nature (moving around to find food) their migration pattern is somewhat unpredictable.  More bird info here.

Perched flock of band-tailed pigeons Perched flock of band-tailed pigeons

Named for a pale gray band at the tail tip, they mostly feed on…

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