Rock Pigeon

Columba livia

Invasive Species 3

Rock pigeons are widespread throughout Canada. It currently occurs in the Yukon in low numbers and are not currently known to Carmacks. However if you see this bird please take a photo on your iNaturalist app. You could also take a photo with a camera, noting where you are, and send it straight to the Conservation Data Centre (CDC) via email: yukoncdc@gov.yk.ca. You can also visit the Yukon Invasive Species Council for more information and report a sighting by filling out a form and sending it to info@yukoninvasives.com.

Behavioral adaptations 4

Columba livia does a few things to regulate its body temperature. Normally it will drink water after they have eaten, but when stressed by heat they can drink whenever needed to lower its body temperature. Another way it can regulate its heat is through Ptilomotor responses. Ptilomotor responses allow for better insulation of the body, because smooth muscle contractions make the feathers stand up straighter, which traps more air next to the skin. Columba livia exhibits Ta (ambient temperature) selecting behavior. It will seek out its desired thermal neutral zone temperatures, in order to expend less energy heating and cooling its body.

Domestication 4

Rock doves have been domesticated for several thousand years, giving rise to the domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica). As well as food and pets, domesticated pigeons are used as homing pigeons. They were in the past also used as carrier pigeons, and so-called war pigeons have played significant roles during wartime, with many pigeons having received bravery awards and medals for their services in saving hundreds of human lives: including, notably, the British pigeon Cher Ami who received the Croix de Guerre for her heroic actions during World War I, and the Irish Paddy and the American G.I. Joe, who both received the Dickin Medal, amongst 32 pigeons to receive this medallion, for their gallant and brave actions during World War II.

There are numerous breeds of fancy pigeons of all sizes, colours and types.

Human health 4

Pigeons have been falsely associated with the spread of human diseases. and exposure to both droppings and feathers can produce bird fancier's lung.

Pigeons are not a major concern in the spread of West Nile virus; though they can contract it, they do not appear to be able to transmit it. Pigeons are, however, at potential risk for carrying and spreading avian influenza. One study has shown that adult pigeons are not clinically susceptible to the most dangerous strain of avian influenza, the H5N1, and that they did not transmit the virus to chickens. Other studies have presented evidence of clinical signs and neurological lesions resulting from infection, but found that the pigeons did not transmit the disease to chickens reared in direct contact with them. Pigeons were found to be "resistant or minimally susceptible" to other strains of avian influenza, such as the H7N7.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) jim gifford, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/12015033@N00/2175759757
  2. (c) Beth Fishkind, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND), https://www.flickr.com/photos/bcfoto/13886897821/
  3. (c) carmacks_bioblitz, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  4. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_dove

More Info

Range Map

iNatCA Map

Animal Bird
Color green, grey
Bird Columbidae (pigeon)