SEATTLE -- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking
volunteers throughout the state to count band-tailed pigeons in their backyards.
Volunteers will be asked to keep track of how many wild pigeons they see in
their yards during the spring and summer. The information will be used by wildlife
biologists to determine the native species' population in urban areas.
"The Department has been monitoring band-tailed pigeon populations in urban
areas for several years now, but this is the first time we've asked the public to give us a
hand," said WDFW wildlife biologist Patricia Thompson.
Band-tailed pigeon populations have declined in western Washington during the
past 20 years, but recently have increased in numbers. Unlike the common rock dove
or "city pigeon," band-tailed pigeons tend to live in forests and nest in evergreen trees.
Many of the birds are observed in urban and suburban areas, possibly because of the
popularity of backyard bird feeding and residential development of forested areas.
People who want to volunteer for the survey should send a postcard with their
name, address and telephone number by May 3 to Pigeon Survey, Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek, Wa. 98012.
It is not necessary for volunteers to have bird feeders in their yard. However,
they must know how to distinguish band-tailed pigeons from rock dove pigeons.