What’s In A Name?

Biologists give the name pigeon or dove to wild birds from the Columbidae family based on their size. The birds most people think of as doves, like those released at weddings or employed by magicians, are domesticated and bred for their white color.

Pigeons vs. Doves

The three most common Columbidae pigeon and dove species in North America are:

Rock Pigeon – Probably the most well-known city dweller in the U.S., these birds are found almost everywhere. They are gray with reddish-purple feet and have two black bands on their wings as well as a green iridescent throat.

Eurasian Collared Dove – Most often confused with the rock pigeon, this species is found across the U.S. except in the northeastern states. Usually grey or light brown, these birds have a long tail and a distinct black crescent collar on the back of the neck.

Mourning Dove – Named for its sad, haunting call, these birds are rarely found in deep woods, preferring open fields or a perch on a telephone wire. With their tawny feathers, black-spotted wings, and white-tipped tail feathers, these doves blend in perfectly with their surroundings.


One key way to tell the difference between a pigeon vs. a dove is size. Of the three species listed above, rock pigeons are the largest, with an average weight of 13.5 ounces. Mourning doves are the smallest, weighing only about 4.5 ounces.

Regardless of species, both birds pose similar issues for homeowners. In addition to leaving their disease-ridden droppings around yards, the pests may also bring parasites like fleas and mites close to home.


To deal with either pigeons or doves in the yard, rely on Trutech for accurate identification and expert removal. These pest professionals have the right training and tools to deter noisy, messy birds without the hassle.