Rock dove

( Latin: Columba livia )

Wild rock doves build mainly on cliffs, often at a considerable height. The ordinary urban pigeons which nest on buildings in towns and cities belong to this species. They require very little nest material, and sometimes a nest consists only of a cake of droppings with a few straws or twigs. They start egg laying quite early in the spring and may produce 2-3 broods during the season.

Domestic pigeons may cause considerable damage by fouling the buildings they nest on, and their nests provide shelter for irritating invertebrates which may then invade flats and annoy the occupants. They are also thought to be involved in the spread of certain diseases.

Various methods of controlling these ubiquitous birds have been devised, but most only work for a short time. The only efficient measure is to deny them nest sites by barring access to cornices, closing roof lights and so on.