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Band-tailed Pigeon Columba fasciata


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Band-tailed Pigeon
credit: First Light/CCSA

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Family: Columbidae, Pigeons and Doves view all from this family

Description ADULT Has blue-gray back, upper wing coverts, and rump, palest (and forming pale bar) on greater coverts. Flight feathers are dark and bases of otherwise gray tail feathers are dark, forming a band. Head, throat, and breast are mainly reddish purple with white half-collar bordering band of iridescent feathers on nape. Feet and iris are yellow, and bill is dark-tipped yellow. JUVENILE Similar, but less colorful and lacking nape markings.

Dimensions Length: 14-15 1/2" (36-39 cm)

Habitat Locally fairly common in mixed and conifer woodland; often in mountainous terrain, especially in south of range. Roosts in large, dense conifers.

Observation Tips Easy to see in suitable habitat, and presence often detected by sound of wing-clapping or call.

Range Northwest, Western Canada, Alaska, Texas, California, Rocky Mountains, Southwest

Voice Utters a repetitive series of upslurred cooing whaOOO calls. Note clattering wing-clapping, heard on takeoff.

Discussion Plump-bodied, rather dark-looking pigeon. Seen in flocks, especially outside breeding season, and typically most evident on woodland margins or in clearings where food (berries, fruits, nuts, and seeds) is plentiful; usually feeds in trees. Sexes are similar.