Friday, April 01, 2005

Band-tailed Pigeons

Posted by Hello

This very hungry flock of Band-tailed pigeons (Columba fasciata) showed up in our yard last week. We often have smaller birds like sparrows, towhees, thrushes, and finches eating from our birdfeeder, so it was surprising to see a flock of birds this large feeding at once. The band-tailed pigeon is an inhabitant of woodlands. In the northern Pacific region it inhabits conifer rain forest. In northern California it is found in mixed evergreen forest and more locally in redwood forest. Further south it inhabits oak and pine-oak forest. In the U. S. interior it inhabits montane conifer or oak-pine forests. There is little information about migratory behavior but presumably migration is diurnal since there are numerous reports of large flocks flying in daylight, especially in the fall. Nest building is on tree branches over a 3-6 day period and consists of twigs placed crosswise over each other much like the Mourning Dove. Generally one egg is laid and both parents incubate with hatching occurring in 16-22 days. The peak nesting period is generally in early to midsummer. Second and even third successful nestings are not unusual. The species is vegetarian with most food consisting of grain seeds, wild and domestic fruits, acorns, pine nuts, and buds and flowers of trees and shrubs.
The Band-tailed populations have been in steady decline since the 1960s. Reasons for this have not been determined, but it is thought that degradation and loss of habitat may be responsible.

1 comment:

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