As migratory birds, band-tailed pigeons are only present in Arizona from late March through mid-October. They nest in mixed conifer forests, ponderosa pine forests, or in dense stands of evergreen oaks and pines between 4,500 and 9,100 feet elevation. Breeding starts in May and continues through the summer. Individual birds can nest twice and sometimes three times in a year. A normal clutch is one but occasionally two glossy white eggs, are laid.
Band-tailed pigeons live in mixed conifer forests, ponderosa pine forests, or in dense stands of evergreen oaks and pines between 4,500 and 9,100 feet elevation. They are about the size of a domestic pigeon, and adults weigh about 8 ounces. Both sexes have an overall blue-gray appearance, and it is only after close inspection that one notices the male’s rosier breast and more iridescence on the nape of the neck.
Hunting & Trapping History
Band-tailed pigeon hunting has an erratic history in Arizona. After the season was closed in 1951 for a perceived lack of birds, interest in band-tailed pigeons waned until the 1960s, when a series of studies were initiated in the “four-corner” states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. These studies included an experimental season, which opened in 1968, and continued through 1972.
Hunt information showed a limited but dedicated interest in the band-tailed pigeon as a game bird with the maximum number of hunters and birds harvested being 1,067 hunters and 3,545 pigeons in 1970. The numbers of both pigeons and pigeon hunters has since fallen off with only 146 band-tailed pigeons reportedly taken in 1996.
To conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and manage for safe, compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations.
Rules and regulations for hunting in Arizona.
Regulations for spring hunts, fall hunts and pronghorn, elk hunts.