Columba livia Click to enlarge image
Rock Dove 40.1 Image: Donald Trounson
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    livia
    Genus
    Columba
    Family
    Columbidae
    Order
    Columbiformes
    Class
    Aves
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    36 cm

The Rock Dove is native to Europe, Africa and Asia, where it prefers open agricultural areas. Feral populations are closely associated with human settlement in many countries throughout the world. In Australia, the Rock Dove has not ventured far from human settlement, being found in large numbers in capital cities and larger towns, with the exception of Darwin.

Habitat

Urban.

Distribution

All larger towns and cities of Australia, except Darwin



Feeding and diet

Although it is mainly a seed-eater, the Rock Dove will sample most scraps. In city streets and parks, birds are seen pecking at the ground in a never-ending search for food.

Breeding behaviours

The Rock Dove breeds at any time of the year, but peak times are spring and summer (July to February). 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.