This pigeon is generally gray
in color, with a pinkish breast and a green,
white and purple patch on the neck. The tail has
a black tip, and there is a prominent white patch
on each wing. The eyes are bright yellow, and the
legs and bill are pink. Juveniles are browner and
duller, and lack the white neck patch.
One of the larger species of
pigeon, the adult wood pigeon is about 16 inches
long, has a wingspan of 30-32 inches, and weighs
The wood pigeon is found
throughout most of Europe and western Asia.
Generally a tree-dwelling bird, it is common in
wooded areas but also inhabits agricultural areas
and suburban parks.
Wood pigeons are strictly
vegetarian. Most of the diet consists of seeds,
grains and crops, but they will also eat leaves,
shoots, seedlings, and some fruits and berries.
Because their food contains little moisture, wood
pigeons must drink frequently. Unlike most birds,
which scoop up water and then throw their heads
back to let it flow down the throat, wood pigeons
use their beak like a straw and literally suck up
No specific breeding season has
been observed in this species, but it is likely
more common in the spring. The nest, which is a
platform of twigs in a tree or on a building, is
built by both parents. The typical clutch
consists of 2 white elliptical eggs, which are
incubated by both parents for 17-19 days. Both
parents also share feeding duties, and the squabs
can fly at 30-36 days.
genus & species Columba palumbus
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