Rock Dove (Common Pigeon)
Rock doves, also known as common pigeons, are stout birds with small heads, short legs and broad pointed wings. While many are bluish gray, they can vary in color but most have iridescent throat feathers, banded wings and black tail tips. They eat mostly seeds and fruit in the wild and rarely invertebrates, although city-dwelling rock doves and those living in urban centers also eat human food.
Considered the most intelligent of birds species, rock doves are found all over the world except Antartica. They originated in Europe and were used as food, sport and pets. Because they were bred to be devoted to humans, they have flourished in proximity to cities and urban centers. While they are considered an invasive species, they play an important role in the ecosystem, especially here in the Bay Area.
Like our Virginia opossum and barred owl, which are not native to California, Atlas, our juvenile rock dove, will help paint the complete picture of wildlife found in the state. She is our first rock dove animal ambassador and was brought to our wildlife hospital after she was picked up by a dog. Atlas suffered only a minor fracture in her wing and is being raised at Lindsay.