Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Hill Pigeon (Columba rupestris)


French: Pigeon des rochers German: Klippentaube Spanish: Paloma rupestre
Other common names: White-tailed Rock-dove

Columba Oenas δ rupestris


, 1811,



Closely related to C. livia and C. leuconota. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. r. turkestanica Buturlin, 1908 – Semiretschensk, Zaissen and Russian Altai S through Turkestan to Baltistan (Gilgit, Yasin, Hunza and Karakoram), and E to W Tibet and N Himalayan slopes.
  • C. r. rupestris Pallas, 1811 – Transbaikalia and Amurland S through Mongolia to E Tibet, W Sichuan, Helan Shan, Heilongjiang and Korea.
  • Descriptive notes

    31–35 cm. Similar in appearance to nominate form of C. livia, but paler grey; black wingbars less extensive, and for most part narrower; white central tailband... read more


    Considered to be similar to that of C. livia, but a quickly repeated, gurgling “gut-gut-... read more


    Open rugged country, where lives in flocks around cliffs and gorges; in some areas, also frequents... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly granivorous, feeding on seeds of weeds; also takes grain, green shoots of crops, leaves and some snails. Feeds in small flocks,... read more


    Feb–Sept (mainly Apr–Jul). Colonial breeder. Builds a nest platform of twigs and plant items placed in crags or cliffs; in C... read more


    Sedentary. Although no long-distance migrations undertaken, in some areas, birds descend to as low... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Apparently declining in Kazakhstan, where numbers and range reduced in Altai and Tien Shan, and is perhaps locally extinct in Manrak Mts. Only... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Hill Pigeon (Columba rupestris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 3 April 2020).