Ringneck Doves: A Handbook of Care and Breeding by Wade Oliver
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Species - Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius)


Adult male: The forehead, top of head, nape and back of neck are bluish-grey. Display feathering on the sides of the neck and on the upper mantle are glossed with bright violaceous to golden-green iridescence. The mantle, scapulars and lesser wing-coverts are pale grey edged with greyish-brown wash. Tertials and lower scapulars are more greyish-brown. The secondaries and primaries are blackish-brown with narrow white edge to the outerweb and a narrower, pale buff edging to the innerweb. The greater and median wings-coverts are pale grey. The outer lower scapulars, tertials, inner three greater and inner five or six median wing-coverts are all with blackish subterminal spots on the outerwebs, giving a distinctive wing pattern. The back and rump are darker bluish-grey, grading to more greyish-brown on the uppertail-coverts and inner two pairs of remiges. The outer air of remiges are white with black subterminal spots on the innerwebs. The next four pairs of outer retrices are pale grey with small blackish subterminal spots. The chin and throat are bluish-grey continuous with face and crown giving a blue-grey head. The throat and breast are rich pinkish-rufous becoming paler pink on the belly with white undertail-coverts. The undertail is entirely white with black spots apparent only on the innerwebs of the outer remiges. the wing linings are greyish-white. The underside of the secondaries and primaries are blackish-brown. Iris is carmine-red and there is a narrow purplish-red eye-ring. The bill is black. The legs and feet are bright coral-red.

Adult female: Females are generally browner above and paler below with much reduced bloom to plumage when breeding. The wings, back and tail are similar to the male, except that the primary outerwebs edged buff or rufous-buff. The forehead, top of head and nape to scapulars are greyish-brown. The sides of the neck have reduced greenish-golden iridescence. The lower throat and breast are buff-brown, grading to whitish-buff on the belly and white underatail-coverts. The bare-part colors as in the male but generally duller.

Juvenile: Overall, like the female, but the wing-spots are obscure or absent. The head, neck, inner scapulars and breast darker are ashy brownish-grey with pale greyish-buff fringes. The outer scapulars and wing-coverts are fringed with distinct pale buff-brown. The tertials are brownish-black with a rufous wash on the outerweb and buff edgings. The secondaries are brownish-black with pale edgings to the outerwebs. The primaries are blackish-brown edged broadly on the outerwebs and tip rufous-brown. There is no iridescence on the back of the neck and the orbital skin is colored dull reddish-purple. The feet and tarsi are dull red.

Other Names:

Wild Pigeon, Migratory Pigeon


Natural Habitat:

Eastern North America [Extinct], Wooded and open lowland habitats.

Status in Wild: EXTINCT


Housing: ...

Temperatures: ...

Feeding: ...

Breeding: ...

Numbers: EXTINCT


Articles: ...

Web Sites:

Visit Garrie Landry's site on Passenger Pigeons (Here)



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