A resident bird of Cyprus and the Akamas peninsula. It inhabits rocky areas at many sites of the Akamas, from the coastline with cliffs, rocky islets and inland at gorges, cliffs and boulders. It’s mainly a colonial species.
It’s the ancestor of the feral (domestic) pigeon that all people are familiar with. Nowadays, the Rock Dove has hybridized extensively and almost everywhere with the feral pigeons, with a result that in very few sites there are possibly ‘pure’ Rock Doves.
It nests in holes and recesses on cliffs and rocky areas, without constructing a nest, but laying the eggs on the bare rock. Like most pigeon / dove species, it feeds primarily on plant origin food (mainly seeds). It feeds its young with a liquid it produces in its gizzard, that somehow resembles milk in texture and it’s very rich in proteins and fat, known as ‘crop’ or ‘pigeon milk’. This is the origin of a very old Greek popular phrase “kai tou pouliou to gala” (meaning: ‘even the bird’s milk’), which is used to show that someone has everything needed.
It’s the same size as the feral pigeon. It has a light grey back with two characteristic black lines, a darker grey head with iridescent (green) side patch, a darker tail with black finish, lighter grey underparts, pink legs and a brown-red eye.