LATIN NAME: Columba palumbus
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: Exactly what you’d expect a pigeon to look like, really! It is a grey bird with a pinkish breast and a wingspan of approximately 75cm. The Woodpigeon is distinguishable from other pigeons by its larger size and the white patches on its neck and wings.
WHERE TO FIND THEM: Pretty much wherever you look. Woodpigeons are the most common birds in the UK. They live in the fields and woods all over the country, and can be found confidently strutting through the streets and parks of towns and cities too. The bird is common in southern and western Europe, and is a migrant to northern/eastern Europe and parts of western Asia. They are a common sight year round all over campus.
INTERESTING FACT: As with all members of the pigeon and dove family, the Woodpigeon produces a milk for its young that is remarkable similar in composition and funtion to mammalian milk. It is believed to be a case of convergent evolution rather than a trait that we inheretted from a common ancestor.
RSPB. 2013. Woodpigeon. Available from :http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/w/woodpigeon/index.aspx [09/01/2013]
BBC. 2005. Wood pigeon ‘most common UK bird’. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4646685.stm [09/01/2013]
Phillips, C. 2011. Mysteries of pigeon milk explained. Available from: ttp://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/birds-produce-milk-similar-to-mammals.htm [09/01/2013]
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