Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


Band-tailed Pigeon

>>Band-tailed Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon2017-02-05T18:56:28+00:00

Project Description

Species at risk Index

Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata

The Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata is the largest pigeon in North America, the males being slightly larger than the females and reaching up to 36 cm in length. They are a gregarious species, often flying together in large flocks.Female pigeons lay 1-2 eggs between April-May. Generally, they nest in conifer or broad-leaved trees in closed canopy forests near edges.

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   Photo Credits: 1. Peter McAllister 2,3. Rodney Polden
  • Blue list
  • Special Concern

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During breeding season, the pigeons require mineral springs or intertidal flats with calcium rich gravel that they eat. It is thought that the calcium is needed for egg production, as well as for the crop milk that pigeons make in their crops to feed their young. They also require berry and nut-producing trees, as the adults feed entirely on fruits, nuts, and seeds. Some of their favourite foods include Garry oak acorns, arbutus berries, red elderberry, hawthorn berries, bitter cherry, blue elderberry, cascara, dogwood, huckleberry, bunchberry, salal,as well as the pollen and flowers from conifers.Band-tailed pigeons are federally listed as a species of Special Concern. Scarcity of mineral sites, alteration of available nesting habitats, and past over hunting are allfactors threatening the success of this species.

What Can You Do:Maintain and plant native trees, shrubs and herbs in your yard to attract birds and other wildlife. Leave mineral spring sites unaltered and undisturbed, especially during breeding season from April to September.


Government of Canada Species Profile

COSEWIC Status Report