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Order Description


Order Description

This order consists of one family, 42 genera, and over 300 species. In Georgia, there are six species.

Family Columbidae

Pigeons and doves have small heads, fleshy cere, short neck, soft, dense plumage, a large crop, and short legs. All are monogamous, lay one to two eggs, and secrete a substance known as "pigeon milk" to feed their young. This substance is a secretion from the lining of the crop. Pigeons, unlike other birds, can drink by sucking up water, without needing to tilt the head back. The nestlings are altricial at birth. In other parts of the world, some pigeons are domesticated. Rock Doves were brought to Georgia as domesticated birds from Europe and became feral after escaping or being released.
Species in this family:
    Common Ground-Dove (Columbina passerina)
    Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
    Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius)
    Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
    White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)