Species: C. livia
Feral pigeons (Columba livia), also called city doves, city pigeons, or street pigeons, are derived from domestic pigeons that have returned to the wild.1 The domestic pigeon was originally bred from the wild Rock Dove, which naturally inhabits sea-cliffs and mountains.2 Rock (i.e. ‘wild’), domestic and feral pigeons are all the same species and will readily interbreed. Feral pigeons find the ledges of buildings to be a substitute for sea cliffs, have become adapted to urban life, and are abundant in towns and cities throughout much of the world.
Cities famous for pigeons
Many city squares are famous for their large pigeon populations, for example, the Piazza San Marco in Venice, and Trafalgar Square in London. For many years, the pigeons in Trafalgar Square were considered a tourist attraction, with street vendors selling packets of seeds for visitors to feed the pigeons. The feeding of the Trafalgar Square pigeons was controversially banned5 in 2003 by London mayor Ken Livingstone. However, activist groups such as Save the Trafalgar Square Pigeons flouted the ban, feeding the pigeons from an area south of Nelson’s Column in which the ban does not apply. The organisation has since come to an agreement to feed the pigeons only once a day, at 7:30 a.m Read more