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.

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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.

Diseases

Damage

Pigeons are abundant in cities and in rural areas of Utah. They conflict with humans in several ways. Their droppings deface buildings, kill vegetation, and are aesthetically displeasing when deposited on beaches, 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. Pigeon ectoparasites such as mites, lice, and ticks may readily bite people.

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