Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Northern Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)


French: Pigeon à queue barrée German: Nördliche Bandtaube Spanish: Paloma torcaza septentrional
Other common names: Band-tailed Pigeon (when lumped with P. albilinea)

Columba fasciata


, 1822,

Plum Creek, Douglas County, Colorado


Normally lumped with P. albilinea but separable at species level on account of  black-tipped vs all yellow bill (2); paler grey underparts generally,  shading to white on belly (3); wing-coverts paler grey with whitish fringes, resulting in a distinct wingband in flight,  not as dark grey as mantle (2); gloss of nape and mantle bronze  vs  green (ns[1]). There are also differences with P. albilinea in regard to song (scoring 5–6)#R. Race monilis previously lumped in nominate, but appears to be consistently larger and more richly coloured#R. Birds of Honduras and El Salvador previously separated as race letonai, but claimed differences are not consistent#R; those of N Nicaragua average slightly smaller and tend to be browner, but doubtfully separable as race parva#R. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. f. monilis (Vigors, 1839) – breeds from SW British Columbia (including Vancouver I) S through Washington to S California and W Nevada; winters S from C California, rarely N to British Columbia.
  • P. f. fasciata (Say, 1822) – breeds from SW USA (SC Utah, NC Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, W Texas) through most of Mexico to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and N Nicaragua; winters S from S Arizona and New Mexico.
  • P. f. vioscae (Brewster, 1888) – mountains of extreme S tip of Baja California (Sierra de la Laguna).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 34–40 cm, 265–460 g; female 33–39·5 cm, 226–424 g. Head drab purple, paler and usually greyish on malar and throat region; white bar... read more


    Does not vocalize frequently. Song is a series of rather soft low-pitched coos, typically starting... read more


    In North America inhabits lower-elevation coniferous forests (in far N of range), below 300 m... read more

    Food and feeding

    Most detailed data from North America, where c. 98% of food is field grains (Gramineae), oak acorns, fruit, wild and domestic, especially... read more


    Probably pairs in winter, when much courtship is observed; N of Mexico most breeding from early May to Aug, e.g. 16 Jun–15 Aug in... read more


    Populations N of California (between S Alaska and Oregon) mainly migratory (except in urban centres... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Despite large range, species may be vulnerable and requires careful monitoring. Perhaps breeds as far N as SE Alaska, where young... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Northern Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata). 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 29 February 2020).