Columbidae – Pigeons & doves

While the feral pigeon may feel like an urban pest, it has some great cousins you should know about

This family contains the pigeons and doves, along with the extinct dodo and solitaires. The pigeon family is found all over the world in some fascinating colors!

The pigeons are as small as the Australian Diamond Dove (about 30 grams – 1 oz in weight) to the Victorian Crowned Pigeon, which weighs about 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds). The extinct dodos were much larger, weighing up to 28 kg (61 pounds). Pigeons feed their young with ‘pigeon milk,’ a semi-solid secretion from the ‘crop’ located just above the top of the chest.

The development of agriculture worldwide has created a perfect habitat for these seeds and grain-eating birds.