Wood Pigeon


Wood pigeons are birds which are known scientifically by the name of Columba palumbus. These are members of the family known as Columbidae, which comprises of doves and pigeons. These doves are seen known in the south east parts of England by the name of Culver.


These birds can be seen normally in the northern as well as eastern regions of Europe, where these are migrants. Another place where these birds are migrants is in the Western regions of Asia.

There are three types of Western European Columba pigeons. They are Stock pigeons, Wood pigeons and the Rock pigeons. Even though all these have superficial resemblances, they are very distinct. Wood pigeons can be identified due to their large size which falls in between the range of 38 cm and 43 cm. The wings as well as the neck of these pigeons are white in colour. Leaving these, all the other parts of the body of these pigeons are grey in colour. The breast of these pigeons are pinkish in colour.

The young ones of the wood pigeons do not possess white patches on both sides of their neck. Only when they come out of the nest after an age of three months, the white patches start appearing slowly on the sides of their neck. By the time they mature, i.e. around six or eight months, the patches are completely visible. The beak of the young wood pigeons possesses a dark grey colour when compared to the adult pigeons. In total, the young wood pigeons have an appearance which is less gray than the adult wood pigeons.

The flight of these birds is very fast and is done by the regular beating of wings. An occasional flick of the wings in a sharp manner is also present. The take off is characterised by the loud clattering. During the nuptial display, they walk on horizontal branches with lowered wings, swelled neck as well as fanned tail.

When they display flight these birds climb and smartly crack the wings in a whiplash fashion. Then they glide down by keeping the wings stiff. The wood pigeons are gregarious in nature. They normally form large flocks when they are not in breeding season.

The nests of these birds are made using twigs by both the male as well as female pigeons. The Wood Pigeons breed in trees which are present in gardens, parks as well as woods. Just two eggs which are simple and white in colour are laid by the female wood pigeons which normally take seventeen to nineteen days for hatching. The nests of the wood pigeons are very much prone to attack especially by the crows. The young wood pigeons start flying when they are just around thirty three or thirty four days old.

The major food of these birds is vegetable, which they normally pick from the gardens, lawns or open grounds. The seedlings as well as young shoot are more preferred by these birds. Grains are also used as food by these birds.

These bids drink lot of water also as the amount of moisture they obtain from the food they have is very less.