Bird of Interest 20 – Woodpigeon

The Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) is a plump and familiar bird of lightly wooded open country. Its song is a familiar sound of the countryside, as is the loud clatter of wings heard when a bird flies off in alarm, or when aerial displays are performed in the spring. The Woodpigeon forms sizeable flocks outside the breeding season. The sexes are similar.

The adult has mainly blue plumage with pinkish maroon on the breast. There is also a distinctive white patch on the side of the neck and, in flight, the prominent transverse white wingbars are also present. There is also a dark terminal band on the tail.

 The Woodpigeon is by far the most numerous of its kind to be found on farmland, and it is one of the few birds not to have suffered under the regime of modern farming practices. The popularity of oilseed rape as a crop has been of particular benefit and its population in the UK probably numbers several million individuals. Typical habitats for the species are arable farmland and grassland fields with a mosaic of hedgerows and scattered woodlands. In addition, it is found increasingly in urban settings where, in contrast to their rural cousins, birds often become tolerant of people, sometimes even tame.The voice is a distinctive oo-OO-oo sound

Reference List:

  • Sterry.P., (2004) Collins Complete Guide to British Birds. Harper Collins Publishing Ltd, London.


About Thomas Whitlock

I'm a third student at the University of Reading, currently studied for a degree in Zoology. I have a wide interest in biodiversity, most notably British wildlife. I have an especial interest in British mammals and birds. I hope to become a wildlife cameraman or photographer after I graduate, and I feel that blogging will be a key component of any future job in Zoology. This is my first blog, so please be kind!
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