The related common pigeon, also known as the rock dove (Columba livia), and the mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) may be found at low elevations outside of the park, but the only pigeon species found within the park is the band-tailed pigeon.


Pigeons - Order Columbiformes, Family Columbidae

A pigeon perched on a branch.
Band-tailed Pigeon

NPS Photo

Band-tailed Pigeon
Patagioenas fasciata

Habitat: forest
Seasons: uncommon spring-fall
Size: length 14.5 in (36.8 cm), wingspan 26 in (66 cm)
Band-tailed Pigeon Calls

These large pigeons are grey with distinctive dark eyes, yellow bills, and yellow legs. Adults have a white collar on the back of the neck, with some green on the nape. Wings have darker flight feathers, while tail feathers are pale at the tips. Band-tailed pigeons are often seen pecking at the travertine in the Longmire Meadow.

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Band-tailed pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata) occasionally visit the park during migrations in the spring and fall. This large flock was filmed in the Longmire Meadow in late August, 2021. Band-tailed pigeons are vegetarians, eating a diet of seeds, berries, nuts, and flowers. They will also visit mineral springs like the ones found in the Longmire Meadow to drink the water and peck at the travertine soil to supplement their mineral intake. (Audio of wind and birds chirping only.)

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Last updated: November 18, 2021

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