Band-tailed Pigeon at Bracebridge, Ontario

First year Band-tailed Pigeon eating snow at Al and Joan Sinclair's property near Bracebridge, Ontario, on 5 February 2012. Ron Pittaway and I watched it eat snow frequently over several hours. Like many species that eat a lot of seeds, it needs water to help digestion. Many thanks to Al and Joan for posting about this great bird on Ontbirds and for their warm hospitality.


The Ontario Bird Records Committee has accepted 11 previous records of Band-tailed Pigeon. The last was November 2003 to April 2004 in London, Ontario (2004 OBRC Report in August 2005 August issue of Ontario Birds). The Bracebridge Band-tailed Pigeon was my first in Ontario.


After eating seeds at the feeder between 9 and 9:30 a.m. it roosted for about four hours on high branches, probably digesting the seeds.


Aged as a first year bird, it lacks the white crescent on its nape.


The narrow grey orbital ring and iris are becoming red.


It still retains pale edging on many juvenile feathers of the upperparts giving a scalloped look. The new darker grey feathers belong to the first year (formative) plumage. At about 1:50 p.m. it flew down to the feeders and started to eat. 5 February 2012.