Band-tailed Pigeon in Big Pine

Observers: Tom & Jo Heindel
Verification: sierra
Remote Name:
Date: 12/01/2006
Time: 04:47 PM -0500


On 30 Nov & 1 Dec we had a Band-tailed Pigeon in a feeding tray with Eurasian Collared-Doves in our backyard. The status and distribution of this species in Inyo County is not well understood. While there is one nesting record, it often goes unreported for years at a time. This might be the bird that Sharon Ford reported from Aspendell in Nov and it is working its way south from feeder to feeder. It might be a different bird and this may indicate that this could be a year that produces a handful of records. This large bird is similar in size to the now common Eurasian Collared-Dove that many have in their yards but it is much darker, has a black-tipped yellow bill, and a white crescent on the back of the nape just above the scalloped iridescent feathers of the neck. It is similar to, but larger than, the common Rock Pigeon (Dove) which comes in a variety of colors. The darker Rock Pigeons bear a superficial resemblance to the Band-tailed but lacks the bi-colored bill, white nape crescent, and scalloped iridescent neck feathers. The Band-tailed has a bi-colored tail: dark at the base and light gray at the tip whereas it is the opposite on a Rock Pigeon. Any sightings should be reported and photographed, if possible, as this species has much to teach us.