A Woodpigeon perched in a tree.

Wood Pigeon

Columba Palumbus

Key Facts

  • Length: 38-44cm
  • Wingspan: 68-80cm
  • Weight: 480-600g

Our largest and most common pigeon, the woodpigeon is a familiar bird of gardens, parks, woodlands and farmlands right across the country.

Its husky ‘hoo-hroo’ call is a well-known sound of the country. Woodpigeons feed on seeds, leaves, grains, fruit, peas and root crops and can become a serious agricultural pest in certain areas. Woodpigeons makes flimsy twig nests in trees, in which the female lays two eggs. Both sexes incubate and raise the young, feeding them on ‘pigeon milk’ – a regurgitated, milky substance from a food-storage organ called a ‘crop’.

How to Identify

Our largest pigeon. Easily distinguished from the similar stock dove and feral pigeon by its pink breast, white neck patch and the white patches visible on its wings during flight.

Where to find

Found everywhere.

How People Can Help

Woodpigeons can be a serious agricultural pest but mostly will live side-by-side with humans without cause for concern. The Wildlife Trusts work with pest controllers to find the most wildlife-friendly solutions to some of our everyday problems.

Did you know?

As well as being a common resident, large numbers of woodpigeons migrate here from the continent in the autumn and winter.

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