Hato: Pigeon

The birds have the scientific name Columbidae. Columbidae is called “Pigeon” in English, and it is called “Hato” in Japanese. There are a variety of views about origin of the Japanese name. Many people support the Japanese name origin for pigeon’s the flapping of wings. Young pigeons are called “squabs” in English. Other name, it called “Paloma” in Spanish, and it is called “Taube” in German.

The head is smaller than body, and the sternum and the pectoral muscle are well developed. They have a stocky figure that is a distinctive character. The total length is about 20 -80cm. Pigeons have short slender bills with a fleshy cere. The whole body is closely covered with soft feathers. The wings are large and have low wing loadings, also it have variety of colors. A lot of pigeon’s male and female are the same color. Pigeons walk while swing back and forth. Pigeons are generally regarded as “Rock pigeon” in Japan. Because Rock pigeon is most often see in Japan.

Columbidae consist of 300 types, and the subfamily is large. Nine kinds live in Japan; especially five types are very famous: Treron sieboldii, Columba janthina, Streptopelia orientalis, Streptopelia decaocto, Columba livia. Treron sieboldii is called “White-bellied green-pigeon” in English, and it is called “Aobato” in Japanese. The total length is 33 cm, and body color is olive and yellow. Columba janthina is called “Black wood pigeon” in English, and it is called “Karasubato” in Japanese. The total length is 44cm, and body color is black. Columba janthina is the biggest of five kinds living in Japan. Streptopelia orientalis is called “Eastern turtle dove” in English, and it is called “Kijibato” in Japanese. The total length is 33cm, and body color is brown. Streptopelia orientalis looks like a Pheasant. Streptopelia decaocto is called “Eurasian collared dove” in English, and it is called “Sirakobato” in Japanese. The total length is 33cm, and body color is gray. Columba livia is called “Rock pigeon” in English, and it called “Kawarabato” in Japanese. The total length is about 33cm. Rock pigeon is original a wild species, and feral is called “Dobato”.

Columbidae is adapted to most of the habitats available on the earth. Columbidae are distributed everywhere on Earth, except for the driest areas of the Sahara Desert.

The largest number of species is found in tropical forests and woodlands. Various species also inhabit savannas, grasslands, deserts, temperate woodlands and forests, mangrove forests.

There is a close connection between Rock pigeon and man. If the area of forest increases, the appearance rate of pigeon will decrease. Rock pigeon is on the increase species. There are two big reasons. One reason is custom of giving pigeons food. They can repeat breeding when well nourished. They are possible to breed seven or eight times a year. Another reason, the racing pigeons go wild. Recently, their excrement harm to the parks and station etc.

You can see Rock pigeon in Kochi all the year round. Also you can see it in an urban area such as station, park, and school in Kochi.


  1. The pigeon is small and envies the head.
    I can capture the pigeon.
    It is great that there are 300 kinds.

  2. Hato’s species is many kind.
    I surprise that is this bird’s habitat very wide.

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