In many ways reminiscent of its more widely distributed relative the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), the Band-tailed Pigeon (occasionally called the Blue Rock) is similar in its size and posture, movements, and reproductive and feeding behavior. It is equally a generalist, able to nest and feed in towns and near farms as well as in distant forests. Broadly distributed from Alaska to South America the species includes 6 subspecies, only 2 of which occur north of Mexico, in 2 disjunct geographic regions. Band-tailed Pigeons inhabit dry montane forests of 4 states in the southwestern United States (the interior region) south into Middle and South America, and also the wetter Pacific Coast region, including the Coast Range and western Cascade Range from the tip of southeastern Alaska through California into northern Baja California. An isolated population is resident in south-ern Baja California.
Individuals throughout are distinctive with their white neck crescent, although in the interior region they are paler in color overall and smaller in size than those in the Pacific Coast region. Most individuals from the U.S. interior migrate into Mexico for winter; most in the northern Pacific Coast region migrate to central and southern California. The 2 groups are not entirely separate, as a small number of banded individuals have moved from one region to another.
Help author an account about this species from a Neotropical perspective.