Rock Dove

Rock Dove

Are you one of those who marvel at the fantastic world of pigeon farming? Because if so, you will love to meet the rock dove, one of the most famous and beautiful of the species. I’m sure you’re very interested in him.

What’s the word on this pigeon?

The dove, also known as the columba livia, is native to southern Eurasia and northern Africa and is the ancestor of the domestic pigeons that are usually crossed to obtain new specimens.

It’s normal to see her nesting on rocky walls. Visibly, it can be confused with the typical grey domestic dove, but domestic pigeons tend to have a wide variety of colours and different shapes.

Is it that beautiful?

This is a fairly large bird, which can measure between 29 – 37 cm, with a weight of around 360 grams. Although it is normal for the domestic pigeon of the species to exceed this weight, especially if it does not exercise a lot.

The colour of the plumage is bluish grey, darker in the head, neck and chest area. In addition, it has green and purplish iridescence. It has two black bands and a white bishop. The lower covers of their wings are white, while the tip of theémiges is blackish. Its beak is blackish in colour, with a whitish wax on the top.

Rock pigeon

The female looks very much like the male, but has a slight sexual dimorphism, since the iridescence of the neck is less intense and somewhat restricted to the sides and back. In addition, the chest is less bulky and darker. The young specimens are similar to the parents, but less shiny.

Eight subspecies have been recognized (not counting the nominal):

  • Columbia livia dakhlae: It was discovered in 1928 and is located in two oases in central Egypt. It is smaller and paler than the nominal species.
  • Columbia livia gaddi: Found in Azerbaijan and Iran, and can also be found in eastern Uzbekistan. It is larger and more allic than the subspecies palaestinae, with which it mixes in the west.
  • Columbia livia gymnocycla: She lives especially in Senegal, Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria. It is smaller than the nominal species, with the head and belly almost black, with the iridescence of the neck extended to the head.
  • Columbia livia intermedia: He lives in Sri Lanka and India, in the south of the Himalayas. It looks a lot like the neglected subspecies, only it has darker tones.
  • Columbia livia neglecta: Lives in the mountains of eastern Central Asia and is very similar to the nominal species, but with a darker plumage with the iridescent shine of the most marked and extended neck. It is usually mixed with the intermediate subspecies.
  • Columbia livia palaestinae: Lives in Syria, Sinai and Arabia. A little larger than nominal and with darker plumage.
  • Columbia livia schimperi: Lives in the Nile Delta and Sudan. Similar to the targia subspecies but paler in colour.
  • Columbia livia targia: Lives in the Sahara Mountains and extends all the way to eastern Sudan. Smaller than the nominal species, but with quite similar plumage.

How’s it like a domestic bird?

Before choosing to have a wild dove, it is necessary to remember that this one has two variants: the wild one and the domestic one. The great difference between the two lies in how accustomed they are to human contact.

If you end up choosing this pigeon as your pet, you should offer it a large aviary where it can move and stretch its wings from time to time. It loves to fly, both in and out of the cage, and it doesn’t take much to earn her trust, as the domestic variant is quite used to contact with humans.

The feed is composed especially of seed mixtures. Be careful not to give her seeds that are high in fat, because this will make the pigeon fattening. If she is not allowed to leave the loft so that she can move freely and stretch her wings a little, she should be given just the right amount of food.

Its reproduction is quite simple, and since it is the ancestor of most of the pigeon species currently known, it has the great advantage that it can be combined with a large number of different species of pigeons to obtain new specimens.

It is a species highly threatened by predators, such as other large birds, as well as insects, dogs and cats. So if you are going to keep it outdoors in your loft, it has to be well reinforced so that nothing happens to it.

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