Site address
(not postal)

Woodcroft Wildspace
Downes Court


N21 3PT


Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)

The wood pigeon has grey upperparts, a pinkish breast, and a green, white and purple neck patch. The tail has a black tip and the wings have a prominent white bar which is noticeable in flight. The eyes are bright yellow, and the legs and beak are pink. Young birds are browner and duller and lack the white patch on the neck. They can be confused with the smaller Stock Dove. Wood pigeons can be seen at any time of the year.

Wood Pigeons waddle when they walk, which makes them look overweight, but in fact the Wood Pigeon's feathers weigh more than its skeleton. It is Europe's largest pigeon. Adult length is 40-42 cm with a wingspan of 75-80 cm. Adult weight 450-550g.

They live in woodlands, farmland, meadows, and in urban gardens and parks.

Wood pigeons feed on seeds, grain, nuts, berries, and crops such as sprouts & peas, but will feed on almost anything that is placed on a bird table. They also drink a lot, using their beak like a straw.

A Wood pigeon's song has five notes and sounds like "ru-hoo ru ru-hoo".

Wood pigeons lay 2 eggs which hatch in 17 days. The young fledge at 29-35 days.

The wood pigeon's usual lifespan is 3 years but one has been recorded as living for over 17 years.

back to index