[Tweeters] Feral vs. Wild Rock Pigeons

Carol Riddell cariddellwa at gmail.com
Sat Feb 19 20:21:10 PST 2022

This is quoted from Cornell’s Birds of the World data base:

"Introduced to North America in the early 17th-century by colonists who brought domestic pigeons to Atlantic coast settlements (Schorger 1952a <https://birdsoftheworld-org.access-proxy.sno-isle.org/bow/species/rocpig/cur/references#REF38328>), the Rock Pigeon (formerly the Rock Dove) is now feral and lives broadly on the continent. Wild Rock Pigeons, native to Europe, North Africa, and western, southwestern, west-central, and southern Asia, gave rise to domestics as a result of artificial selection by humans (Darwin 1868 <https://birdsoftheworld-org.access-proxy.sno-isle.org/bow/species/rocpig/cur/references#REF29297>). Domestics readily go feral, and have done so widely throughout the world (Long 1981 <https://birdsoftheworld-org.access-proxy.sno-isle.org/bow/species/rocpig/cur/references#REF18984>).”

It would appear that it is never appropriate to use Rock Pigeon (Wild type) on an eBird checklist for a North American location, even if you see a wild population living on cliffs. That would explain why, when you make a species map in eBird for Rock Pigeon (Wild type), no records exist for North America. eBird shows Wild type sightings mostly in Iceland, the UK, most of the countries bordering the Mediterranean, the Near East, Middle East, and India. They would still be Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) on this continent.

Carol Riddell
Edmonds, WA

> On Feb 19, 2022, at 7:55 PM, Hans-Joachim Feddern <thefedderns at gmail.com> wrote:


> Years ago, when we lived in Denver, Colorado. I watched some Rock Pigeons at the Red Rock Amphitheater. They all looked like the original wild Rock Pigeons with no color variations, even though they were likely from feral stock. They sure looked like they were in their natural habitat! Not to date myself, but if I correctly recall, they were not "countable" at that time. Now the Magnificent Frigatebird I found, was a first for the Colorado list!


> Good Birding!


> Hans


> On Sat, Feb 19, 2022 at 7:12 PM HAL MICHAEL <ucd880 at comcast.net <mailto:ucd880 at comcast.net>> wrote:

> Pigeons were introduced/escaped into North America. It's like Red Junglefowl; any seen in N America will be feral. I also doubt that there are any populations in N America that are pure wild Rock Pigeon.


> Hal Michael

> Board of Directors,Ecologists Without Borders (http://ecowb.org/ <http://ecowb.org/>)

> Olympia WA

> 360-459-4005

> 360-791-7702 (C)

> ucd880 at comcast.net <mailto:ucd880 at comcast.net>


> > On 02/19/2022 6:47 PM Carol Riddell <cariddellwa at gmail.com <mailto:cariddellwa at gmail.com>> wrote:

> >

> >

> > Dennis Paulson raised a great question about why some pigeon sightings turn up as rare birds in eBird. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) is the listing on the basic checklist. If you want to report a wild type, you have to add a species to the checklist and select Rock Pigeon (wild type). That is considered a rare bird. But how are we to determine what is a feral pigeon and what is a wild type Rock Pigeon? There is no guidance in eBird that I can find. When should we consider using the wild type category and what evidence of a rare pigeon sighting would eBird reviewers want to consider when deciding whether to include the report in the public data?

> >

> > I think knowing this would be as useful to birders who do not use eBird as it would be to eBirders. We all want to improve our birding skills and learn how to distinguish things in the field. Any answers from any local eBird reviewer who might feel so inclined? Thanks.

> >

> > Carol Riddell

> > Edmonds, WA

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> --

> Hans Feddern

> Twin Lakes/Federal Way, WA

> thefedderns at gmail.com <mailto:thefedderns at gmail.com>

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