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Rock Dove (Columba livia)

Species Code: COLI

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only.
© NatureMapping Program

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Predicted breeding range

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat


Rock Dove photo

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery, Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

NatureMapping observations map   Map with Breeding Bird Atlas records
Observations | Historic Gap points

This species is widespread and common at lower elevations throughout western Washington, mostly breeding in cities and farmlands. In eastern Washington, they are common in cities and farmlands and also along basalt cliffs, such as those along the Columbia River and Snake River, and at the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge. High-elevation records are uncommon, though birds have been recorded in the Pasayten Wilderness in Okanogan County, near Diablo Dam in Whatcom County, and near Skykomish in King County.

habitat 212 picture habitat 221 picture habitat 110 picture

The core areas of use were all those below Sub-alpine Fir on the east side and below Silver Fir on the west side. In the low and/or dry areas (steppe zones, Ponderosa Pine, Oak, Sitka Spruce, Puget Sound Douglas-fir, Woodland/Prairie Mosaic, Willamette Valley, and Cowlitz River), all habitats, except forest and estuarine mud flats, were good. Hardwood forests, mixed forest, and early-seral conifer forests were adequate. In higher zones, only development and agriculture were good and all others were excluded.

Rock Doves were introduced to North America by the earliest European settlers at Jamestown and Plymouth in the early 1600s. Most Rock Doves are seen in cities or farms, areas of considerable human alteration. An interesting occurrence is the nesting of Rock Doves in eastern Washington in areas that are wild, such as the rocky cliffs above most water bodies in the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge. In urban areas, they nest on any flat surface under cover (bridges, barns, etc.). In Washington, Breeding Bird Survey data show significant population increases of 6.4% per year from 1966 to 1991 and 8.9% per year from 1982 to 1991.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Map by Dave Lester