The Tippler Pigeon (Columba livia) is a medium-sized game bird in the Columbidae family of doves and pigeons. It evolved from the Rock Pigeon.
The Tippler Pigeon has a variety of colours, with flecked markings and dark tail feathers and wing feathers. It is slender and not as plump as the Rock Pigeon. Its eyes are orange or red. Its beak is grey-black with a white cere. Its feet are pinkish-red.
It measures 29-37 centimetres (11-15 inches) tall, with a wingspan of 62-72 centimetres (24-28 inches).
The Tippler Pigeon is common across the Northern Hemisphere, from the Mediterranean to China. It lives in various habitats, from open to semi-open areas, to cliffs and rocks, and in urban areas close to humans.
It feeds on grains and seeds on the ground in flocks or individually. It is also a scavenger and often eats human food scraps. Its predators include eagles, gulls, crows, and ravens.
The Tippler Pigeon can drink continuously, without having to lift its head and tilt it backwards to let the water flow down its throat. It is able to dip its beak in water, and swallow the water.
It is a strong flyer, and glides quite frequently, with its wings in a V-position.
The Tippler Pigeon forms a monogamous pair, mating for life. It nests in buildings or on structures, such as statues. Its nest is made of sticks and straw. The female lays two white eggs. Both parents sit on the eggs until they hatch after 17-19 days. Both parents look after their young, called squabs.
It lives, on average, for 3-5 years in the wild.
Location of photographs: Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM