Columba Livia features include a neat white rump, two broad clear black wing-bars and a head which is clearly darker than the rest of the body. Feral Pigeons can, of course, have various plumages but are often darker overall, with extra areas of white or brown and often grey, not white, rumps. In all plumages, Rock Doves have more sharply pointed wings and cleaner, whiter underwings than other pigeons.

Pigeons eat mostly grain, much of which is extremely difficult to digest. They therefore have a highly developed gizzard, which is effectively a stomach with a rough lining, where the grain is ground up into a milk before passing through the rest of the digestive system. Young pigeons are fed on this ‘milk’ when it is regurgitated by the adults. The development of a gizzard means that the structure for grinding up food is situated in the middle of the body instead of in the head where heavy teeth and jaw muscles would be most awkward for an animal which has to fly.

Nesting sites are situated along coastal cliff faces, as well as the artificial cliff faces created by apartment buildings with accessible ledges or roof spaces. Rock Doves nest in large colonies which quickly deface buildings with their droppings.

Rock Doves nest in large colonies which can deface buildings with their droppings.

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