The adult pigeon is 32-37 cm (12-14 1/2 in) long with a 64-72 cm (25-28 in) wingspan. Weight for the pigeon's ranges from 238-380 grams (8.4-13.4 oz). It has a dark bluish-gray head, neck and chest with glossy yellowish, greenish and reddish-purple iridescence along its neck and wing feathers. The iris is orange, red or golden with a paler inner ring. The bare skin round the eye is bluish-grey. The bill is grey-black with a conspicuous off-white, and the feet are purplish-red. Young birds show little luster and are duller.
Pigeons feed on the ground in flocks or individually. They roost together in buildings or on walls or statues. When drinking, most birds take small sips and tilt their heads backwards to swallow the water. When disturbed, a pigeon in a group will take off with a noisy clapping sound.
Pigeons breed at any time of the year, but peak times are spring and summer. Nests are constructed as a flimsy platform of straw and sticks, put on a ledge, under cover. Two white eggs are laid with incubation that is shared by both parents lasting from seventeen to nineteen days.
The nestling has pale yellow down and a flesh-colored bill with a dark band. It is tended and fed "crop milk". The fledging period is 30 days.
Pigeon droppings deface and accelerate deterioration of statues, buildings, and equipment and foul areas where people may walk or work. Pigeon droppings and nests clog drain pipes and air intakes, mar window sills, and render fire escapes hazardous.
The serious and constant public health problem they create are unmatched by any other bird species. They are known to carry or transmit pigeon ornithosis, encephalitis, Newcastle disease, histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, toxoplasmosis, pseudo tuberculosis, and salmonella food poisoning.
Wild pigeons can have a long life span, living for fifteen years; occasionally, in captivity, they live for 30 years or more. In our urban population study, 34% of the adult birds died each year, indicating that few pigeons under urban conditions live more than three to four years.
The diet of pigeons normally consists of seeds, grain, some fruit and green feed. They also feed on garbage, livestock manure, insects, and relatively wide range of other foods when the more preferred foods become scarce.
A number of control options are available through JS Pest Control. These include sanitation, exclusion, trapping, and baiting.