Band-tailed Pigeon: Large dove, small, purple-gray head and broad neck with distinctive, thin white band on nape. Back and wings are purple-gray, underparts grade from purple-gray neck and breast to white belly. Tail is pale gray, dark band at base. Bill, legs,feet are yellow. Swift direct flight.
Range and Habitat
Band-tailed Pigeon: Mainly found in the western Americas, the Southwest and Canada. Occurs as far north as British Columbia, and extends south to Argentina. Preferred habitats include coniferous and mixed forests.
The Band-tailed Pigeon is currently rated as Least Concern. It is native to Canada and the western Americas. This bird was once seriously hunted, which resulted in fairly low population numbers; primarily during the early 20th century. Today, the population has begun to rebound as a result of the Federal Migratory Game Bird Act that was passed in 1918. Today, there is not any grave concern about the Band-tailed Pigeon which would indicate possible population declines in the future.
The Band-tailed Pigeon is the largest in North America.
In June, and again in the late summer, they congregate at mineral springs where they ingest salts. Unlike most birds, including other pigeons, they are able to drink without raising their head.
The parasitic louse Columbicola extinctus, believed to have become extinct with the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon, was recently rediscovered on the Band-tailed Pigeon.
A group of pigeons has many collective nouns, including a "band", "dropping", "loft", "passel" and "school" of pigeons.