Wood Pigeon

Length: 40-42cm

Wingspan: 75-80cm

Conservation Status: Green

Description: A wood pigeon may look fat but its feathers actually weigh more than its skeleton. Wood pigeons are the largest and most common pigeon in the UK and it is easy to spot with its long tail, white wing markings and deep belly. Wood pigeons have a mauve pink breast with splashes of turquoise and white, and the sides and back of its neck are glossy green with a purple sheen. Female wood pigeons appear slightly thinner and paler than males but both have a reddish bill with a yellow tip. Juvenile wood pigeons have adult wing markings but no other patches of colour.

Nesting: Wood pigeons are particularly common in gardens, parks and other urban areas. However, they are happy in most habitats, and as they are adaptable to change they have colonised all over Europe. Wood pigeons nest high in trees and sometimes in buildings, putting together a flimsy nest of twigs that is not a particularly safe haven for the eggs of young chicks, similar to that of the collared dove. A wood pigeons brood consists of 2 white eggs which incubate for 17 days.

Feeding: Wood pigeons eat seeds, berries, fruits, grain, clover and bread. They can sometimes be seen feeding on nut bags but because of their large size they generally forage on the ground and if they are disturbed when feeding they clap their wings to scare off other birds. Chicks are fed on crop milk rather than larvae or seeds.

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