Hungry band-tailed pigeon arrives at PROWLS

Band-tailed pigeon

This very young band-tailed pigeon was found on Texada Island by hikers. It walked toward them and allowed them to easily pick it up.

Possibly it had fallen from the nest, and, very hungry, had been feeding on leaves and soil on the ground. It was put in a kennel and sailed over to Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society.

The band-tailed pigeon is a native species of pigeon, at one time considered a game bird because of its large size, and almost hunted to extinction. Numbers are slowly coming back.

With its deep voice, its cry sounds almost like sobbing. Flocking behaviour of up to 300 hundred birds may help protect them from predators such as hawks, falcons and owls, but not from humans.

In a grain field they will feed in rolling flocks with individuals in the rear flying over their flock mates to land in front and continue foraging. They eat seeds, fruits and nuts (no insects) and appear more often in forested areas than in cities, which rock pigeons prefer.

Pigeons are believed to be one of the most intelligent birds on the planet, able to undertake tasks previously thought to be the preserve of humans and primates.