The rock dove, often simply referred to as the “pigeon”, is also a popular visitor to my balcony. Perhaps it is a bird that everybody is familiar with.
These birds are native to the Middle-East and North Africa and were first introduced to Singapore in the 1960s, probably as escapees from stocks of birds sold as food. Several of these birds were kept as part of a menagerie in the Botanic Gardens in 1880.
In 1968, just 100 were recorded near the Victoria Theatre. Today, they are one of the most common birds in Singapore and are often found in large flocks in housing estates. However, to me, it is surprising that there are more Mynahs than pigeons in Singapore.
The natural habitats of rock doves include various open and semi-open environments. Cliffs and rock ledges are used for roosting and breeding in the wild, and perhaps this is why feral pigeons take to the ledges of buildings with ease.
- ENGLISH NAME UPDATES – IOC Version 2.9 (July 10, 2011), IOC World Bird List
- Gibbs, David; Eustace Barnes; John Cox. Pigeons and Doves: A Guide to the Pigeons and Doves of the World. United Kingdom: Pica Press. ISBN 1-873403-60-7.
- “Rock Pigeon”. All About Birds. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
- Levi, Wendell (1977). The Pigeon. Sumter, S.C.: Levi Publishing Co, Inc. ISBN 0-85390-013-2.
- Jahan, Shah. “Feral Pigeon”. The Birds I Saw. Archived from the original on June 29, 2008.