Our Beautiful World

Ringdove/Wood Pigeon, Columba palumbus  

© http://www.ecosystema.ru/

Ringdue, Wood Pigeon
Photo © Jørgen Scheel
The Woodpigeon is the largest European pigeon and is readily identified on the ground by the white patch on the side of
the neck and, in flight, by the conspicuous white bands on the wings.
Juveniles do not acquire the white neck patches nor the irridescent blue-green colour on the nape until the last few
months of the year.

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; however if the nest is disturbed some young may be able to survive having
left the nest as early as 20 days from hatching.

Ringdue, Wood Pigeon
Photo © Jørgen Scheel

Its flight is quick, performed by regular beats, with an occasional sharp flick of the wings, characteristic of pigeons in general.
It takes off with a loud clattering. It perches well, and in its nuptial display walks along a horizontal branch with swelled neck, lowered wings, and fanned tail. During the display flight the bird climbs, the wings are smartly cracked like a whiplash,
and the bird glides down on stiff wings.
The noise in climbing flight is caused by the whipcracks on the downstroke rather than the wings striking together.

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 favoured,
and it will take grain.

ARKive video - Woodpigeon - overview
Woodpigeon - overview
Granada Wild, c/o ITN Source, London

Ringdue, Ring Dove/Wood Pigeon
© Arthur Grosset


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