A relative of the Rock Pigeon, the Band Tailed Pigeon (occasionally called the “blue rock”) is one of the rare tailed pigeon breeds with a medium-sized body, that is found in North America.
It is also known as the Passenger pigeon in the Americas.
The French call the Band-tailed pigeon Pigeon à queue barrée, while in Spanish it is called Paloma Torcaza.
How to Identify a Band-Tailed Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeons love to rest at the summit of trees. This often makes them very uneasy to find.
You can easily spot them with their pale gray-colored body with dark wingtips and a light-tipped tail when they are in a flock flying.
You can also find them on conspicuous perches on tree limbs.
In Which Regions of America Can You Find The Band Tailed Pigeons?
The Band-tailed pigeons are present in two regions in the north of America. They are the Pacific Coast’s wet forests and the mountain forests of the Southwest.
What Are Band Tailed Pigeons Good For?
Band-tailed pigeons are the hunter’s delight in bird hunting. They are good game birds.
Band Tailed Pigeon Flying And Range
Band-tailed pigeons are excellent fliers. The adult ones can fly as far as a distance of 31 miles to seek food for their chick, during breeding.
There are two subspecies ranges of the Band-tailed pigeon. They are the Pacific Coast subspecies and the Interior of Four Corners subspecies.
The Pacific Coast subspecies band range covers Oregon, Baja California, Nevada, Washington, Western British Columbia, and the rear ends of southeastern Alaska.
While the Interior or Four Corners subspecies (considered to be more sociable than the Pacific Coast subspecies because of their communal migration lifestyle during falls and springs) are almost ubiquitous in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and other neighborhoods of North America.
This species is known for spending winter in Baja, California, and Mexico.
History And Origin Of The Band Tailed Pigeon
Although pigeons have their native origin linked to North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, the Band-tailed pigeon is well known and conserved in the northern part of America.
How To Identify The Gender Of a Band Tailed Pigeon
Identifying the gender of a band-tailed pigeon is by holding its two wings with your two hands and shaking it in the air.
If after shaking, the tail remains straight, it suggests that it is a male. But when the tail is in the upward position, it suggests that it is a female.
What Does A Band Tail Pigeon Sound Like?
The sound of the Band-tailed pigeon is a low ‘whooo’ (pause) ‘whooo’ that sounds like an owl.
Band Tailed Pigeon Life Expectancy
The Band-tailed pigeon is one of the birds with the highest life expectancy. It can live above 18 years old.
Band Tailed Pigeon Nest, Habitat & Migration
Band-tailed pigeons are forest nesters. They occasionally nest on hardwoods but primarily use the conifers within close-canopy conifers, and mixed hardwoods with the coniferous forest stand, serving as nests.
They can nestle their nests 180 feet from the ground on tree limbs. Their choice habitat trees include the live oak, Douglas-fir, acacia, Sitka spruce, red cedar, western hemlock, and lodgepole pine.
Band-tailed pigeons, who are notorious migratory birds, are most common in their native western North America.
They nest and breed in the coniferous forests of northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, and migrate to central and southern California during the winter.
Characteristics, Appearance & Behavior Of Band Tailed Pigeons
The Band-tailed pigeon is a medium-size stocky bird with a small head and thick-based pointed wings with a rounded tail.
Its body is colored in beautiful flashy blue-gray in its above and purplish-gray in its below.
The back of its neck displays a white crescent, while the gray color of its tail lightly mixes with the pale gray band at the tip.
Its unmarked pale grayed wings with dark wingtips make it very noticeable when in flight. Both its bill and feet are yellow.
Band-tailed pigeons live a communal life. They travel in a flock to search for food.
You can see a flock made up of more than a hundred individual birds. Their communal flocking behavior protects them from predators because of their numbers.
Band Tailed Pigeon Predators
Band-tailed pigeons have flight and nest predators. Their flight enemies include the Great Horned Owls, Cooper’s Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Prairie Falcons, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and Northern Goshawks.
Band-tailed pigeon’s common nest enemies are Western Scrub-Jays, tree squirrels, and ravens.
What Do Band Tailed Pigeons Eat?
Band-tailed pigeons are majorly vegetarian birds, who, unlike most other birds, have seasonal dietary.
In spring, fruit-producing shrubs of the tender stage serve as the major source of diet for Band-tailed pigeons. During falls and winters, their diet is more of archons than other available food.
Fruits, which Band-tailed pigeons feed on include elderberries, blackberries, raspberries, madrone, and cascaras, among others.
Band-tailed pigeons also feed on grain seeds that are edible to their sister pigeons.
Are Band Tailed Pigeons Good Pets?
Band-tailed pigeons do not make good pets because of their love for wildlife. Even when you try to tame and domesticate them, they escape to the woods at the slightest opportunity.
Can You Eat Band Tailed Pigeons?
Band-tailed pigeons are eaten. Squab consumers believe that they taste much better than squabs of other pigeons.
Interesting Facts About Band-Tailed Pigeons
- Band-tailed Pigeons are from the extended family of the Rock pigeon.
- Band-tailed Pigeons are swift-flying birds that are most noticeable when flying in a flock.
- Although they move from one region to the other, the Band-tailed pigeon has two major breeding populations residing on the West Coast and Southwest of America.
- They have a long-distance wandering history. This was most recently affirmed when an Oregon-banded one was short outside the expected range in Florida, a year later.
- Band-tailed pigeons can travel as far as 32 miles in search of food.
- Band-tailed pigeons need not raise their head before swallowing sucked-up water, just like other pigeons and doves.
- They are one of the birds with a history of the longest breeding season and brooding because of their non-reliance on a particular food for their chicks.
- The blue-gray hue and its resemblance to its cousin Rock Pigeon earned the Band-tailed pigeon the nickname, ” Blue Bock.”
- The known oldest Band-tailed pigeon was 18 years and 6 months old.
The Band-tailed pigeon is no doubt one of the best birds to behold, but, unfortunately, this beautiful pigeon breed would never want to stay with its fanciers, like most of the other breeds.
Except you choose to live with them in their hoods!