The Band-tailed Pigeon ressembles the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), but is native to North America and occupies a more restricted range. It breeds along the Pacific coast from British Columbia to California and in southwestern Interior United States (mostly in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas), down to Mexico, Central America and South America. Its South American breeding range spans from Venezuela to northern Argentina, mostly along the Andes.
The Band-tailed Pigeon can be encountered in a variety of habitats (e.g. urban parks, golf courses, orchards), but it breeds mainly in temperate and conifer coastal forests along the Pacific Coast, and it is found in montane conifer or pines and oaks dominated forests in the Interior. The proximity to food source (i.e. fruits) and to mineral sites are important habitat features.
The wintering habitat is similar to the breeding habitat, but Band-tailed Pigeons will also be encountered in rural and urban areas where it can have access to food (e.g. feeders, grains, fruits).
Reasons for the species’ decline (-57% since 1970) are unclear, but hunting and habitat modification (e.g. deforestation) are suspected.
Primary Habitats:Breeding Habitat: Temperate western forests, Mexican pine-oak forests, Cloud forests, Montane evergreen forests
Wintering Habitat: Mexican pine-oak forests
Breeding: Changing Forest Conditions, Tropical Deforestation
Wintering: Changing Forest Conditions, Tropical Deforestation
Population Loss Since 1970: 57%
Urgency/Half Life: N/A
Global Conservation Status: IUCN 2019-1 – Least Concern
U.S. Conservation Status: N/A
Canadian Conservation Status: Special Concern (SARA)
Birds of Conservation Concern: USFWS – Bird of Conservation Concern
|Region||Area Importance||Long-term Population Change||Half-Life|
|Rio Grande Joint Venture||4%||***||***|
|Sonoran Joint Venture||10%||-42%||***|
|Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture||27%||-65%||>50 years|
|San Francisco Bay Joint Venture||4%||>50%||>50 years|
*** indicates insufficient or unreliable data to calculate a regional long-term change or half-life estimate.
Forestry management that focus on the preservation or regeneration of mature oak stands, berry-producing shrubs and tall snags for roosting.
Maintain forests of mixed composition, with relatively old trees, tall snags, shrubby and/or oak understory, and forest openings.
Conservation and protection of mineral sites.
Species Conservation Plans:
Key Species References:
Peer Reviewed Papers:
Braun, C.E. 1994. Band-tailed Pigeon. Pp. 61-74 In: Migratory shore and upland game bird management in North America T. Tacha and C.E. Braun, (eds.). Inter. Assoc. of Wildl. Agencies, Washington, DC.
Environment and Climate Change Canada. 2016. Management Plan for the Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa. iii + 14 pp.
Seamans, M. E. 2018. Band-tailed pigeon population status, 2018. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management, Washington, D.C.
Management Plan for the Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata) in Canada
Pacific Flyway Management Plan for the Pacific Coast Populations of Band-tailed Pigeons
Birds of North America (BNA) Species Account