We have lived in Pleasanton, in this house, for 28 years and it was 2 months ago that these band-tailed pigeons showed up. We have had bird feeders up for most of that time. Are they new to this area? I have talked to neighbors and people from different areas and no one has seen them or knows where they roost. Any ideas?
We have counted as many as 15 in our backyard.
We now look forward to seeing the pigeons. When we don’t see them for a few days we wonder if they have left the area. The bird feeder is great entertainment!
Herman Koberle, Pleasanton
Oh, they’re around, but they aren’t usually seen in local backyards, preferring to do their thing in our beautiful oak woodland areas.
Band-tails are wild pigeons as opposed to the city pigeons (rock doves) that most people are familiar with. They usually have a roost somewhere in a nearby wild open space area, like in the oak trees in an out-of-the-way canyon.
They are a little big bigger than the rock doves we see pecking around city streets. They feed on the ground and in shrubs (and on platform feeders like the one you use). They eat nuts, berries, seeds and acorns.
Band-tailed pigeons are considered to be game birds in California and have a short hunting season in late September or late December, depending on what part of the state you live in.
During band-tail hunting season, your backyard is obviously the safest place for them to be. Maybe they’re practicing for the next hunting season. /Gary