Pigeon - Diagram and Description

Columba livia or rock pigeons are common domestic birds that have adapted for an aerial mode of life. Let’s look at the description of a pigeon with a well-labelled diagram.

Table of Contents:

Pigeon – Classification













Labelled Diagram of Pigeon

Pigeon Diagram


Pigeons are found everywhere except for the driest places like Antarctica and the high Arctic. Also, they are largely distributed in the Europe, Asia and Northern Africa regions. They can nest in any place like rock cliffs, buildings, open shrubs, etc.


  • The head region contains a strong, straight, pointed and horny bill or beak. The base of the beak has a sensitive skin portion called the cere.
  • The external nostrils are obliquely present in the cere.
  • The eyes of pigeons are round and large with movable eyelids. An external auditory aperture is present posterior to each eye.
  • They have a long, flexible, S-shaped neck. The ventral portion of the neck is termed as throat.
  • The trunk is distinguished into a large thorax and a small abdomen. The thorax is ventrally supported by a large sternum.
  • The trunk contains forelimbs and hind limbs. The former is modified into wings, and the latter is modified for bipedal locomotion.
  • The hind limbs have horny scales, and each digit has a horny claw.
  • The tail is present behind the cloaca or the bird’s external opening. The dorsal surface of the tail has an oil secreting gland called the uropygial gland. It helps to preen its feathers.
  • Most of their body is covered by feathers. These feathers are of three types – contour feathers, down feathers and filoplumes. The contour feathers cover the surface of the body. The strongest contour feather is the quill feather. The quill of the tail is called retrices, and that of the wings is called remiges. The filoplumes are thin, hair-like feathers present at the base of the contour. Down feathers are also found below the contour but do not have hooks on the barbules.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are feral pigeons?

Feral pigeons or city doves are domestic pigeons that are adapted to urban life and are mostly found in cities and towns. They are usually considered as nuisances due to their large amounts of excrement and they can also occasionally be disease vectors.

What are some uses of a pigeon?

Rock pigeons are commonly domesticated as pets and can also be used for sporting. In earlier days, they were used as post carriers or messengers. They also serve as food. Sometimes they are also used as laboratory animals for experiments.

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