Snow Pigeon (Columba leuconota)

Snow Pigeon

[order] COLUMBIFORMES | [family] Columbidae | [latin] Columba leuconota | [UK] Snow Pigeon | [FR] Pigeon des neiges | [DE] Schneetaube | [ES] Paloma Nival | [NL] Sneeuwduif


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Columba leuconota EU sc, se
Columba leuconota gradaria e Tibet to se China and n Burma
Columba leuconota leuconota Himalayas

Physical charateristics

The adult bird has a grey head, and creamy white collar and underparts. Uppertail is blackish with a white band. At rest, tail pattern is similar to that of Hill Pigeon but in fl ight white band is in shape of inverted V.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 32 cm size max.: 34 cm
incubation min.: 17 days incubation max.: 19 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


Eurasia : Southcentral, Southeast


They visit rocky hill sides and sequestered valleys, seen up to the snow line. They frequently feed in the fields during the day, but roost in the cliffs.


They breed in colonies. The nests are placed in crevices or caves in the face of cliffs or ledges of rock. Nest is an untidy interlaced structure made of sticks, grass, straw, feathers etc. The nests are generally reused every year with minor repairing. Generally two eggs are laid which are incubate for about 24-26 days. The young fledge after another 40-45 days,

Feeding habits

They feed on berries, grain, buds and shoots.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Snow Pigeon status Least Concern


In winter both races move to the warmer climes of lower altitudes, occurring down to 1500 m, occasionally to as low as 750 m. Makes movements twice daily between roosts in mountains and arable fields and inhabited valley below.

Distribution map

Snow Pigeon distribution range map

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