Rock Pigeon/Rock Dove – white back/rump

on 29th November 2017

“A small population of ‘unadulterated’ or ‘wild’ Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) exists at some of the limestone hills in the city where they nest. They then to breed true to original colours. 

...white on the lower back.
…white on the lower back.

“I noticed two today that had white on the lower back (above, below). I was first alerted to it when one was preening and then spotted the other. Most Rock Pigeons have grey-blue backs and rumps. There is no clear idea of the sub species for the region but the northern Thailand birds are identified as C. l. intermedia (Wells 1999). 

...white on the lower back.
…white on the lower back.

“1. One web site describing the pigeon states… ‘In the wild, the rock pigeon has a bluish-gray body, … and a white rump.’ – LINK


“2. The WikiBooks Field Guide says ‘The white lower back of the pure Rock Pigeon is its best identification character, but the two black bars on its pale grey wings are also distinctive.’ In flight ‘…its white rump showing well from above.’ – LINK

“3 states. HBW when describing the different species makes these observations:
General colour … lower back white, latter sharply separated from dark grey rump‘; ‘Race C. l. gymnocyclus typically very dark, with … white patch on back, but some birds paler…’; ‘Race intermedia differs in lacking white patch on back‘ – Baptista et al. (2017). Rock Dove (Columba livia). – In Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive.
“4. Wells (1999) says that some have a white rump but that most Rock Pigeons in Asia have grey rumps.
“Note: I think the use of rump here is a little extended as the white patch is more lower back than rump.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
22nd September 2017

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Limestone hills at fringe of city

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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