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Know Your Pest
(Columba livia)
Feral Pigeon
Appearance

Adult : 31-34cms long, colouration varies from grey to black, but is most commonly a slaty-grey, with metallic sheen of green, purple and magenta on neck and upper breast and usually two darker bars on wings. Males and females look alike. Average weight is 250-350g. Feet are usually red.

Life Cycle

2 white eggs are laid and are incubated by both sexes for 17 – 19 days. Nests are usually flimsy, crude structures constructed from a variety of materials, such as twigs, grass, feathers, plastic items, wire etc and are often built on top of a considerable thickness of droppings. Young ones, called “squabs” are initially fed with a protein rich secretion, but this is quickly replaced by regurgitated pre-digested food. Young birds are independent at 30 – 37 days and 4 – 7 broods may be reared in a year. Adults will live to an age of up to 4 years. Pigeons are monogamous, but will select a new mate upon the death of their current mate

Notes

Also called Rock Pigeons (earlier Blue Rock Dove), because of their nesting habits in rocky ledges and cliff-sides. Modern cities provide plenty of nesting and roosting sites as buildings mimic their wild habitat. They have become very accustomed to city life and have become pests because of their association with the micro-organisms that cause lung and chest related diseases in human beings. Their droppings on building elevation gives foul smell, does not look nice and cause speedy erosion of the building. They are serious pests in various food-handling establishments and in other factories as they cause product contamination and product damage. Their nests also attract various insect pests like, fleas, lice, bugs beetles and mites etc.