Wood Pigeon

The Wood Pigeon, Columba palumbus, is a member of the bird family Columbidae. In the colder northern and eastern parts of its European and western Asiatic range the Wood Pigeon is a migrant, but in southern and western Europe it is a well distributed and often abundant resident.

It breeds in trees in woods, parks and gardens, laying two white eggs in a simple stick nest which hatch after 17 to 19 days. Wood pigeons seem to have a preference for trees near roadways and rivers. The nests are vulnerable to attack, particularly by crows, the more so early in the year when the leaf cover is not fully formed. The young usually fly at 33 to 34 days.

The Woo Pigeon is large at 15 to 17 inches in length. It is basically a gray bird with pinkish breast. There is white on its neck and wing. Juvenile birds do not have the white patches on either side of the neck. When they are about 6 months old they gain a small white patch on both sides of the neck, which gradually enlarge until they are fully formed when the bird is about 6″“8 months old. Juvenile birds also have a grayer beak and an overall lighter grey appearance than adult birds.

The Wood Pigeon is gregarious, often forming very large flocks outside the breeding season. Most of its food is vegetable, taken from open fields or gardens and lawns; young shoots and seedlings are favored, and it will take grain.