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Band-tailed pigeon

Columba fasciata

Common name:
band-tailed pigeon (en); pombo-de-cauda-barreada (pt); pigeon à queue barrée (fr); paloma torcaza (es); schuppenhalstaube (de)
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae
This American species is found breeding for British Columbia, in Canada, trough the western parts of the United States, always west of the Rocky mountains, into Central America, and through the western parts of South America, all the way south to Argentina.
Band-tailed pigeons are 34-39 cm long and have a wingspan of 64-68 cm. They weigh 250-340 g.

This species breeds in wet coniferous forests along the Pacific Coast and in mixed evergreen forests. They are also found in dry mountain coniferous forests of the interior, and in urban and suburban areas. It is usually present at altitudes of 900-3.600 m.


An omnivore, the band-tailed pigeon will eat the nuts, seeds, berries, blossoms, but also insects. When in season it is also known to eat domestic crops such as cherries, berries, oats, barley and wheat.

These birds breed in March-June. The female builds a flat, loose nest on the ground, in low bushes, or in the fork of lower tree branches. Nesting materials are provided by the male and consist mainly of twigs and pine needles. The female lays 1, rarely 2 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 18-20 days. The chicks fledge 28-30 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 4 million individuals. This species was hunted to low numbers in the beginning of the 20th century, but since then recovered, following hunting regulations. The population is believed to be currently facing a very small decline, which is not sufficient to cause the species to be considered threatened.
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