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Common Wood Pigeon - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Richard Ford
Hampshire, UK, 21 February 2004

Alternative names: Common Wood-Pigeon, Wood Pigeon

Columba palumbus


40-42cm (15¾-16½ in)

  • Grey body
  • Pink breast
  • Green, white and purple neck patch
  • White wing patch
  • Black tipped tail
  • Bright yellow iris
  • Pink legs and bill

Juvenile: browner, duller, no neck patch.

Photo by Tom Dunlop
Saltwell Park, Gateshead, Durham, UK, 08 May 2014


Europe, North Africa and Asia



Adult in flight
Photo © by IanF
Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park, Billingham, Cleveland, UK, 3020 May 2009

Clements recognizes these subspecies[1]:

  • C. p. azorica:Duller with smaller neck patches.
  • C. p. maderensis:
  • Formerly mountains of Madeira. Probably extinct
  • C. p. palumbus:
  • C. p. iranica:Whitish or pale yellow bill.
  • Southern Transcaspia to Iran
  • C. p. casiotis: Neck patch creamy buff or cinnamon, not white.


Parks, gardens, woods, and farmland.



The diet includes grain, crops and seeds.


Subspecies C. p. iranica
Photo © by Houman Doroudi (Tormtay)
Hircainian Jungle, National Botanical Garden of Iran, Tehran, Iran, 27 May 2016

Both sexes build the platform nest from twigs in a bush or shrub, particularly in evergreens. The 2 glossy white eggs are incubated by both sexes for 17 days; the young fledge 29-35 days later. There can be up to 3 clutches. Breeding can start as early as March and continue until November.


Call: ru-hoo ru ru-hoo. Listen to Common Wood Pigeon voice clip


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. British Garden Birds
  4. Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2018). Common Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/54105 on 8 October 2018).
  5. Goodwin, D. (1983) Pigeons and Doves of the World. Cornell Univ. Press.
  6. Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 9). Common wood pigeon. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:37, October 8, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Common_wood_pigeon&oldid=858820530

Recommended Citation

External Links

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