[Tweeters] Band-tailed pigeons - affected at all by Rock Pigeons?

Stewart Wechsler ecostewart at quidnunc.net
Wed Mar 28 22:37:47 PDT 2007

Your point is well taken that the habitat of the Band-tailed and the Rock
Pigeon do not overlap a lot. This would indeed reduce the degree to which
Rock Pigeons would spread diseases and parasites to Band-taileds. That
said, as they are related species there are likely to be a number of
pathogenic organisms that Rock Pigeons support that would infect
Band-taileds if the Band-taileds come into contact with the
pathogenic/parasitic organisms. With such large numbers of Rock Pigeons in
the urban and substantial numbers in farm areas, I would assume that they
may indeed support a large population of parasites and disease organisms. I
would then think it is not a question of whether Band-taileds are affected
by Rock Pigeon borne pathogens, but how often and whether it is negligible
or significant. I am not suggesting that the Rock Pigeons are taking
habitat away from Band-taileds.

My greater interest is to seek and analyze any potential limiting factors to
Band-tail populations and figure out which are the significant ones and what
we might do to protect and enhance Band-tailed habitat and help turn the
declining trend around. To that end I am currently propagating and planting
Blue Elderberry shrubs in habitats where both Blue Elderberries would do
well and where Band-tailed Pigeons occur. How much one more food source
would help the population, I don't know. It may be that other factors than
food availability are limiting the population and additional food sources
may not help slow their decline or help bring them back.


-----Original Message-----
From: monte merrick

well stewart i cant think of anything except trichomoniasis that rock
pigeons, specifically, carry - and since band tailed pigeons and rock
pigeons dont really use the same habitat, and where they do, the rural rock
pigeon is much less likely to carry trich, which spreads among crowded

unlike the european house sparrow, and the european starling, the rock
pigeon doesn't exactly take over habitat of native birds - more like they
adapt well in disturbed areas - such as cities - in fact, if you really want
to get a fight going suggest to the anti non-native crowd that the rock
pigeon is native to cities (show me one without them)

the band-tailed pigeon is a forest bird - certainly we can look around and
see that the threat to them, although great and probably insurmountable,
isnt the already much maligned rock pigeon.

take care

monte merrick
lummi island washington
montemerrick at speakeasy.net
On 28 Mar 2007, , at 21:19, Stewart Wechsler wrote:
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