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Rock Dove

ROCK DOVE

Also named Rock Pigeon


APPEARANCE AND IDENTIFICATION

13 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. It has several colours that vary from grey to light brown. Some individuals are entirely white.

Order: Columbiformes

Family: Columbidae

Category: Introduced Birds


LOCATION

Introduced, this species widely colonized the Society Islands. Present in the Marquesas on Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka and Tahuata. Is also visible in Tubuai, Rurutu, Rimatara (Austral) and Gambier.


CHARACTERISTICS

Nests in urban areas in the Society Islands. In the Marquesas, it progressively colonizes valleys. It is a gregarious species. Individuals move in large numbers.

The male alone emits a cooing repeated several times like « crou-crou… ».

To listen the Rock Dove:
https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Columba-livia

A wide variety of seeds, sprouts, vegetables, fallen fruit and occasionally insects.

All along the year. The nest is made of intertwined twigs. Two white eggs are incubated by both sexes for about 18 days. The young leave the nest at the age of 30 to 35 days.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.

Bibliography:
https://inpn.mnhn.fr/espece/cd_nom/3420
https://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?avibaseid=BBA263C235B15B88
http://www.oiseaux.net/oiseaux/pigeon.biset.html
http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/rock-dove-columba-livia
https://www.hbw.com/ibc/species/rock-dove-columba-livia
https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22690066/86070297

NAMES

Scientifique Name: Columba livia Gmelin, 1789

Polynesian Names:
U’u airo (Tahiti), piho (Marquises)

LOCATION
  • Society
  • Austral
  • Gambier
  • Marquesas

STATUS AND PROTECTION

Introduced species that is spreading around the world. Mainland in France, it is now nicknamed the “flying rats”. It causes extensive damage in towns with its excrement and transmits a life-threatening zoonosis to humans. In French Polynesia, it could convey diseases from one island to another and contaminate some populations of endemic Doves, causing their disappearance. The  polynesian fruit-doves are so beautiful and original, why raise this grey pigeon if they are so dangerous?

The species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
It is ranked among the 100 most invasive species on the planet.