Columba livia, Bonn. Encycl. Method, i. p. 227 (1790) ; Naum. vi. p. 186, Taf. 150 ; Hewitson, i. p. 274, pl. Ixvii. fig. 3 ; Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 245 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 3 ; Dresser, vii. p. 11, pl. 457 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxi. p. 252 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 30 ; Saunders, p. 483 ; Lilford, iv. p. 89, pl. 41.
Colombe biset, French ; Pomba, Portug. ; Paloma silvestre, Span. ; Piccione selvatico, Ital. ; Felsentaube, German ; Klippedue, Dan. and Norweg. ; Klippdufva, Swed. ; Kesykyyhkynen, Finn. ; Golub, Russ. ; Hamam, el Berri, Moor. ; Hamam, Arab.
Male ad. (England). Head, neck, and upper parts slaty blue, the back and wings paler, the head and neck darker and glossed with green ; lower neck on sides and in front glossed with coppery purple ; two bands across the wings, and terminal portion of tail black ; rump white ; under parts dove-blue tinged with slate ; bill reddish brown ; legs reddish ; iris orange. Culmen 0.8, wing 8.5, tail 4.6, tarsus 1.2 inch. Female rather smaller and duller.
Hab. The western Palaearctic area, north to the Faeroes, but not found in Scandinavia or in many parts of Eastern Europe ; North Africa ; Asia east to Afghanistan and Northern India.
This, the original stock from which our tame Pigeons have sprung, inhabits rocky localities on the sea-coast, and is numerous in several parts of the rocky coasts of Britain. Its flight is very swift, and performed with a whistling sound. Its note is a coo-roo-coo quickly repeated, the last syllable prolonged ; and its food consists of grain of various kinds, seeds of wild plants, roots of grass, snails, etc. The nest is composed of plant-stems and grass, and is placed on the shelf of a rock in a cave, and two broods are usually reared in the year, one in about April and the second in September. The eggs, like those of all the Pigeons, are 2 in number, pure white, and measure about 1.59 by 1.07.
In Africa there are two forms which have been recognized by Count Salvadori as species, C. gymnocyclus, Gray, from Senegal, and C. schimperi, Bp., from Egypt, Nubia, and Pales¬tine, which are barely separable from C. livia.
883. Columba livia