Band-tailed Pigeons are the largest species of wild pigeon native to North America. The scientific name for Band-tailed Pigeons is Patagioenas Fasciata though you will also see Columba Fasciata used. Several years ago a number of bird species had their names and/or taxonomy changed. The Band-tailed is one whose scientific name was changed. You can read a brief article about the name changes here if you are interested: http://mtaudubon.org/birdwatching/notes.html
* Larger than a Rock Dove
* Dark gray above with a pale gray terminal band on the tail (hence the name)
* The head and underparts are purplish plum in color and whiten towards the extreme lower belly
* Adults have a narrow white semi-collar on the nape of the neck
* Yellow beak with a black tip
* Yellow legs and feet
Band-tailed Pigeons have a deep owl-like WHOO-HOO. There are links later on that have sound tracks of Band-taileds if you are interested.
In the more northern areas, Band-taileds live in coniferous forests. In the southern areas, they prefer oak or pine woodlands.
Unlike most columbiformes, Band-taileds typically have a single egg as opposed to the more common clutch size of two eggs. They build platform styled nests made of twigs in trees. The incubation time for Band-taileds is 18-20 days, and both parents care for the young. Like many other types of pigeons and doves, Band-taileds mate for life.
Band-tails are omnivores but are especially fond of holly berries, acorns, and grain.
Band-taileds breed from southeastern Alaska south along the coast through California, and from Utah and Colorado south into Mexico. They are migratory and spend the winter in California, New Mexico, and western Texas.
Though I have never seen a Band-tailed in the wild, I know they are a fairly common bird here in Southern California. I am sure their local habitat here is the oak woodlands near Cooks Corner (Live Oak Canyon, Trabuco Oaks Canyon, Silverado Canyon). They are a shy bird when compared to the more "street smart" and human tolerant ferals in the area.
Band-tailed pigeons are protected under state and federal law and cannot be legally kept as pets. I get one or two Band-taileds in each season that have been misidentified as feral pigeons. The yellow legs/feet and yellow black tipped beaks of the Band-taileds make it very quick and easy to know what they are and then make arrangements to get them to a state and federally permitted wildlife rehabilitation facility.
The few baby Band-taileds that I have had for short periods of time are very much like any baby feral or domestic pigeon .. feed me, keep me warm, keep me safe, and I am a happy little bird. Older Band-taileds, however, are almost always very, very stressed by being in captivity and being cared for by a human. I know that all the members here are familiar the the European Wood Pigeons from the posts and pictures you have seen. Our Band-tailed Pigeons strike me as being very much like the Wood Pigeons.
Here is a darling baby Band-tailed that I cared for a short period of time:
and a gorgeous adult female that a member here kindly provided the photo of:
There are a few more photos here: http://www.pigeons.biz/gallery/browseimages.php?c=85
I've been brief here, but there is a lot of interesting information available regarding Band-tailed pigeons. Here are a few links for you:
|band tailed; wild pigeon|
People searched for this, also searched for these:difference between feral pigeons and homing pigeons