Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Columbiformes / Columbidae / Columba / Species
Columba palumbus - Common wood-pigeon (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Wood Pigeon.
  • Woodpigeon.
  • European wood-pigeon.
  • Houtduif (Holland).
  • Pigeon ramier (France).
  • Ringeltaube (Germany).
  • Columbaccio (Italy).
  • Paloma torcaz (Spain).
  • Ringduva (Sweden).

(B19, B162)

Names for newly-hatched

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Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Gordon McLeod

Species Editor

Debra Bourne

Major References

B162, B163, B164, B165, B166 

Aviculture references:

ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

  • Pigeons, Doves.

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

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Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length Head to tail:
  • General: 40-42cm (B162); 38-43cm (B164); 41cm (B165); 39-43cm / 15-16.5 ins. (B166)

Wingspan:

  • General: 75-80cm (B162); 68-77cm. (B164)

Winglength:

  • Male: 243-263mm. (B162)
  • Female: 240-260mm. (B162)
Adult weight Male 325-614g. (B162)
Female 284-587g. (B162)
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Short and thin; red. (B162, B164, B165, B166)
Variations (If present) --
Eyes Male Yellow. (B162, B164, B165)
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Bill Short and thin; red. (B164, B165)
Eyes (Iris) Black. Iris changes to yellow as matures. (B164, B165)

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Legs

Adult Male Short; red. (B162, B164, B165, B166)
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Short; red. (B164, B165)

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Plumage

Adult Male
  • Upperparts: Grey.
  • Head: Grey; neck green and white slashes.
  • Underparts: Throat grey; breast dark pink; belly pale grey.
  • Wings: Upper white bar between coverts and primary flight feathers; (coverts) grey; (primaries) black; underside (whole wing) grey, darkening towards wing tips.
  • Tail: Square; upper and under grey with black tip.

(B162, B164, B165, B166)

Variations (If present) --
Juvenile
  • Head: Grey; neck pale green slash.

(B164, B165)

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

Altricial, helpless, downy, eyes closed. (B163, B166)

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year
  • Varies widely, urban birds laying earlier than rural ones - February to November (urban birds in UK); May to July (Azores) (B162); April to June. (B166)
No. of Clutches 1-2 (B162, B163); 3. (B166)

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Nest placement and structure

  • Solitary nest.
  • Small groups may nest close together in urban areas.
  • Platform of twigs.
  • Located in tree 3-5m above ground.
  • Rarely on or in buildings.

(B162, B163, B166)

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 1-2 (B162, B163)
Range 1-3 (B163)
Egg description: Smooth, slightly glossy sub-elliptical, 41mm long; white.

(B162, B163)

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Incubation

17 days. (B162, B163, B166)

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Hatching

Synchronous. (B163)

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Fledging

20-35 days (B162, B163), but typically 33-34 days (B162); 29-35 days. (B166)

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Sexual Maturity

Males --
Females --

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Peck at food while walking on ground, climb trees, and can hang upside down while feeding. (B162)
Newly-hatched Fed crop-milk by parents. (B163)

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building By both birds. (B163)
Incubation By both parents. (B163)
Newly-hatched Fed crop-milk by both parents. (B163)
Juveniles

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific
  • Gregarious outside breeding season, particularly at feeding and roosting sites.

(B162)

Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

  • Monogamous pair-bond.
  • Display flights and calls used to indicate possession of territory.

(B162, B163)

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Predation in Wild

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Activity Patterns

  • Perches openly.
  • Walks.
  • Takes off and lands on vegetation.

(B166)

Circadian --

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Natural Diet

Adults

  • Green leaves.
  • Root crops and grain.
  • Seeds and fruits.
  • Flowers and buds.
  • Invertebrates.

(B162, B163, B166)

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Newly-hatched

Crop-milk. (B163)

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Common and widespread throughout increasing range. Found across western Palearctic, North Africa, Middle East, and west-central Asia.

Britain: Abundant and widespread resident.

Migration:

  • Northern and eastern European, and Siberian populations migrate.
  • Less migratory further south and west in range.
  • Resident in France, Iberian peninsula and Britain.

(B162, B163, B166)

Occasional and Accidental Bear Island, Jan Mayen, Iceland (annually), Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Madeira, Canary Islands.

(B162)

Introduced

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Habitat

  • Forests and woods.
  • Fields and hedges.
  • Towns and gardens.
  • Heathland.

(B166)

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

Slight variation.
  • Columba palumbus azorica; (Azores); Smaller, darker
  • Extinct race - Columba palumbus maderensis; (Madeira); intermediate between nominate and Azores race.

(B162)

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Increasing through urban colonisation. (B162, B163)

General Legislation
  • This species is listed on Schedule 2 - Part 2 (Birds which may be killed or taken outside the close season, 1 February to 31 August except where indicated otherwise: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds which may be killed or taken by authorised persons: This section has been replaced by General Licences with the same effect.") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
  • This species is listed on Schedule 3 - Part 2 (Birds which may be sold alive at all times if ringed and bred in captivity: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds which may be sold dead at all times") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
CITES listing Listing not yet included.
Red-data book listing Listing not yet included.
Threats --

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Captive Populations

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Trade

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