Tuesday, September 30, 2014


The Band-tail pigeon is on the migratory move and for a brief period they can be seen in Nevada County. The photo above (see inside the red circle) was taken in Alta Sierra Ca. ( 9/29/2014).

The Band-tailed Pigeon ranges from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and southern Arizona south in higher elevations through Mexico and Central America to northern Argentina. In autumn it migrates out of its permanent resident range into northern California, New Mexico, and parts of Utah and Colorado. It is found at altitudes from 3,000 to 12,000 ft, generally in oak, pine-oak, and coniferous forests. It feeds on seeds, notably acorns.

It is the biggest pigeon in North America, measuring 13 to 16 in long and weighing 7.9–18.2 oz). The plumage is gray, somewhat darker above. The head and underparts have a faint pink cast, especially in the adult male; the belly is nearly white. The distal half of the tail is also pale. The bill and feet are yellow, good identification marks at sufficiently close range. Adults have green iridescence on the back of the neck, adjacent to a thin white collar on the nape. Juvenile birds have white feather edges above, giving a scaly appearance.

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