Band-tailed Pigeon (Columba fasciata)
Band-tailed Pigeons, ?? Hugh P. Smith, Jr.
Description 14-15 1/2" (36-39 cm). Larger than Rock Dove. Dark gray above; pale gray terminal band on tail. Head and underparts purplish plum, whitening toward extreme lower belly. Adults have narrow white semi-collar on nape. Yellow bill tipped with black; yellow legs.
Habitat Coniferous forests along northwestern Pacific Coast; in southwestern part of range it prefers oak or pine-oak woodlands, where it can feed on acorns.
Nesting 1 white egg in a loosely constructed platform nest of twigs in a tree.
Range Breeds from southeastern Alaska south along coast through California, and from Utah and Colorado south into Mexico. Winters north to California, New Mexico, and western Texas.
Voice A deep owl-like whoo-hoo.
Discussion This shy forest pigeon is adapting to parks and gardens, where it feeds on lawns and ornamental berries, especially holly. Already a city bird in the Northwest, it has spread from natural redwood pockets to conifer plantings in suburbs of Santa Barbara and other California towns. In fall these birds gorge themselves on acorns.