Pigeons

OVERVIEW

Pigeons are really rock doves that were introduced from Europe by early settlers. They are now widespread and common across North America. Building ledges, rafters, and eaves are typical nesting sites for pigeons. The pair builds a rather messy nest in which the female lays one or two eggs. The incubation period is 17 to 19 days. ​​The young are fed predigested food until they are weaned and leave the nest at 35 to 37 days of age.

Biology & Behavior

Breeding occurs during all seasons and several broods are raised each year. Pigeons live in an average of 5 to 7 years with some living more than 15 years. An adult pigeon will eat about one pound of food a week including seeds and other grains augmented with fruit, green feed, insects, and sufficient grit for digestion.

Noises

Their main sound is used by males to attract mates or defend their territories: coo roo-c’too-coo. The call they make from their nest is oh-oo-oor. A pigeon call of alarm is oorhh! Baby pigeons make sounds by snapping their beaks or hissing.

Tracks

Scat

A common sight on automobile windshields and statues, bird droppings can be dangerous to both people’s health and property. They are made up of a pasty substance mixed with uric acid and are typically white in color. The consistency of bird droppings is due to the fact that avian spices don’t produce urine the same way as other animals, and this helps birds retain water.

Damage

Pigeons are abundant in cities and around rural areas of Utah. They conflict with humans in several ways. Their droppings deface buildings, kill vegetation, and are aesthetically displeasing when deposited on benches, sidewalks, and cars. Pigeons eat and contaminate grain destined for human consumption. Pigeons carry pigeon ornithosis (psitacossis), encephalitis, Newcastle disease, toxoplasmosis, salmonella food poisoning, and other diseases. Histoplasmosis, a fungal disease that can infect people, can be contracted from accumulations of dusty pigeon manure. Pest controllers should wear a respirator when working around pigeon manure. Pigeon ectoparasites such as mites, lice, and ticks may readily bite people.

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