You’re probably familiar with the common pigeon that can be found all around you, but did you know that there are 15 different types of pigeons in Alabama alone?
From the Egyptian crowned pigeon to the Japanese homing pigeon, your backyard may contain numerous breeds of birds you didn’t even know existed.
And although some of these birds are strictly ornamental, others are much better at helping people out than you might think.
In this post, we’ll look at 15 types of pigeons in Alabama and everything these birds offer to their communities and humans.
1. Feral Pigeon
There are several types of pigeons in Alabama, but one that many people don’t know about is the feral pigeon.
Feral pigeons are nothing more than domesticated pigeons that have escaped from captivity and now make their living on the street.
They can be found all over North America, with some estimates putting their numbers at around 100 million.
These wild birds come in various colors but are primarily white or grayish-brown to look like dirt.
The feral pigeon is often confused with the rock dove because it has a similar body shape and plumage coloration.
Like the wild pigeon, the rock dove is smaller and has white feathers on its head instead of black feathers. Both pigeons in Alabama can sometimes be seen nesting under bridges and ramps.
Feral pigeons feed on seeds and insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, ants, bees, beetles, flies, moths, and other invertebrates.
To survive this diet, these pigeons in Alabama will eat anything from agricultural waste to spoiled food scraps tossed out by restaurants to animal carcasses left by hunters.
2. Rock Pigeon
Rock Pigeon is the most common pigeon in Alabama and is usually seen roosting on buildings.
Rock pigeons have grayish feathers, a reddish tinge on their necks and wings, and a white underside. They are found all over the world but are especially prevalent in Europe.
Rock Pigeon eggs are white, oval-shaped, and about the size of a small chicken egg. The youngsters take about two months to fully mature.
The lifespan for these different types of pigeons in Alabama ranges from 5-8 years, depending on how well cared for by their owner or breeder.
Rock Pigeon droppings can be distinguished by their yellowish coloration as opposed to other types that tend to be brownish or grayish colored.
Rock Pigeons typically live near large bodies of water. They feed off seeds, fruit, and insects and eat an average of 2-5 ounces daily.
Due to their natural tendency to build nests, they may be classified as nuisance pests if they live in your home or garden. They cannot fly very high due to inadequate breast muscles.
Rock Pigeons’ droppings can cause corrosion damage because it’s alkaline, which eats away at metal surfaces and leaves a black residue if not cleaned immediately.
These types of pigeons in Alabama also carry diseases like West Nile Virus, which can be spread through bird feces or saliva contact with humans.
3. Band-Tailed Pigeon
The Band-tailed Pigeon is a type of pigeon found throughout the western United States. These types of pigeons in Alabama are typically seen flying at night and feed on seeds, buds, and flowers.
Male Band-tailed Pigeons have a distinctive band on their tail feathers, which can be used to distinguish them from other types of pigeons in Alabama. They are often confused with the Zebra Dove, an introduced species with stripes on its wings.
The Band-tailed Pigeon gets its name from its terrain: rocky outcrops, cliffs, and other steep landscapes.
Their feathers provide excellent insulation against both cold and heat, making them well-suited for living high up in mountain areas.
Their ability to fly means they can take advantage of these opportunities, feeding on seed pods as they mature and giving young nestlings a great start in life.
This type of pigeon is generally monogamous and will form lifelong pairs that share nesting duties while caring for their offspring.
Band-tailed Pigeons are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
4. Passenger Pigeon
Passenger pigeons were once the most populous species on Earth, but they became extinct in 1914. They were native to North America and are among Alabama’s most recognizable pigeons.
They lived near North American forests and would fly from tree to tree, looking for cherries, acorns, chestnuts, and other food sources.
They typically nested high up on the branches because their flight was not strong enough to fly very far distances. Their population dwindled due to deforestation and human hunting until they finally went extinct.
Passenger pigeons are now considered endangered, with only one living specimen left at the Cincinnati Zoo.
There is a rumor that passenger pigeons may have been spotted as late as the 1930s, but this has never been confirmed.
These types of pigeons in Alabama also like to eat small insects and sometimes use trees for nesting instead of relying on cavities like other birds.
5. White-Crowned Pigeon
The white-crowned pigeon is a type of pigeon that George Washington first classified. These birds are known for their long necks and red irises.
White-crowned pigeons live in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. They eat seeds, fruits, plants, small invertebrates, and grains.
These types of pigeons in Alabama have an extensive range and are found on every continent except Antarctica. They also eat insects and other small animals when they’re available to them.
The tumbler pigeon has a rounded head, a broad chest, and wings shorter than its tail. It is found throughout much of the eastern United States. They are also known as Carolina Rock Dove.
Tumbler pigeons are agile flyers and have been used as messenger pigeons. Pigeon breeders use tumblers to create new breeds of fancy pigeons by mating them with other types of birds, such as fullbacks, homing pouters, turtle doves, rollers, or Jacobins.
The larger breeds will often eat their smaller cousins, but the smaller species seem only to be eaten by other small birds or mammals like squirrels and raccoons.
7. Racing Pigeons
Racing pigeons have been around for centuries, and they are one of the most popular types of pigeon racing.
These birds are bred to fly long distances, often over 500 miles. And since many of these races are held at night, you can use lamps on their legs to help them navigate.
These types of pigeons in Alabama are known for their ability to navigate back home from any distance – estimated that they can find their way back as far as 600 miles away! They’re also very good at carrying messages.
But suppose you want to race your bird against another one. In that case, you’ll need a unique U.S. Department of Agriculture license first.
For those who are just interested in watching or keeping some feathered friends around their homes, there are many different types of domestic pigeons too!
8. Fancy Pigeon
Fancy pigeons are a type of pigeon that is bred for the specific purpose of being kept as a pet.
They come in many colors and variations but typically have long necks and legs. These types of pigeons are often used for show purposes or to be sold as pets.
These types of pigeons in Alabama cross the wild rock dove and domesticated breeds such as the blue bar or pouter pigeon.
The fancy pigeon is most commonly seen with either one solid color or parti-color (two colors) feathers on their body. The head may be covered by feathers that are either solid or particolored.
The fancy pigeon is also known for its large ears, which can move independently from each other.
These pigeons in Alabama will typically only fly short distances because their muscles are not as strong as those of different types of pigeons.
They are easy to spot because they will always sit close to ground level, where there is food and shelter.
9. English Carrier Pigeon
The English carrier pigeon is a breed of domesticated pigeon that was developed to be used as a carrier for messages from one place to another. The airlines would be released with the news and fly back to their home base with the note attached to their leg.
Due to their strong homing instinct, they were bred specifically for this purpose and are less likely to become lost or stuck along the way.
These types of pigeons in Alabama were often used during wartime, but pigeons are now becoming more popular among pigeon fanciers than military strategists.
A group of carrier pigeons (known as the Royal Carrier Corps) led by Silver King carried both official and unofficial messages for George Washington during his service in the American Revolution. the birds proved invaluable when Washington’s army couldn’t communicate with Philadelphia due to British interference, causing him to lose touch with the Continental Congress.
10. Red-Crowned Wood Pigeon
The Red Crowned Wood pigeon is one of the most common pigeons in Alabama. They are well-adapted to living in urban areas and are found throughout the state. These types of pigeons in Alabama feed on fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, and buds.
In winter, red-crowned wood pigeons will also eat some grains and corn. These types of pigeons in Alabama spend time foraging for food all day to maintain a healthy diet.
Red-crowned wood pigeons can be identified by their copper brown head, red crown extending back over the neck, and chestnut body.
Males have brighter red crowns than females. In-flight, they show white outer tail feathers that contrast with dark blue wings, giving them a unique appearance among other pigeons in Alabama.
These birds are often seen cooing and displaying colorful plumage at each other during mating season, typically from spring through fall.
If you happen to spot a group of red-crowned wood pigeons during this period, chances are it’s because males are showing off to females or competing for mates!
11. Scaly-Naped Pigeon
The Scaly-naped Pigeon is a common bird found in the southeastern United States. They are attractive pigeons with pinkish-gray heads, breast feathers, and black, white, brown, and rust-colored feathers on the rest of their bodies.
Males have a small red patch near the end of their beaks that females do not have.
They also have a white band around their eyes. The Scaly-naped Pigeon has large populations over its range and is not threatened by any known significant threats.
These types of pigeons in Alabama prefer forest habitats with dense undergrowth or thickets, but they can also be found in towns, orchards, and cities.
When they live in towns or cities, they prefer to nest close to human habitations where discarded pieces of food are available for them to eat. They will eat corn, sunflower seeds, peanuts, grape jelly, apple slices, and carrots.
Pigeons are fascinating animals that have been around for centuries. They come in various colors and sizes, but all have a commonality in their ability to fly.
The types of pigeons in Alabama are just as interesting as those around the world.
The types of pigeons in Alabama include Anseriformes and Columbiformes. Alabama is home to over 30 types of pigeons.
Some you may have heard of, like the common rock dove and the mourning dove, but some you may not know to exist. This list includes types like the rock pigeon and the racing pigeon.