Woodpigeon

Woodpigeon

Scientific name: Columba palumbus

Did you know: The Woodpigeon, known for its distinctive cooing call, is the UK’s largest and most common pigeon species.

What Do Woodpigeons Look Like? (how to identify them)

Woodpigeons are a prominent sight in the UK, notable for their large size and distinctive colouration. They typically have a grey body, a white patch on their neck, and white wing patches that are particularly visible during flight. 

These birds are adaptable, behaving shyly in rural areas while being more approachable in urban settings. Their wings create a loud noise when flying away, making them easily recognisable.

Differences Between Male And Female Woodpigeons

Male and female Woodpigeons are quite similar in appearance, making it challenging to distinguish between them. Both genders share the same grey and white colouration, including the characteristic white neck patch. However, subtle differences can be observed in their size and behaviour, especially during the breeding season.

What Do Woodpigeons Eat?

Woodpigeons have a diverse diet, predominantly feeding on plant matter. They enjoy a variety of foods including cabbages, sprouts, peas, grain, buds, shoots, seeds, nuts, and berries. This flexibility in diet sometimes leads to them being considered agricultural pests. Their eating habits change seasonally, with a preference for figs and acorns in autumn and tree buds in winter.

Where Do Woodpigeons Live? (inc. migration info)

Woodpigeons are widely distributed across the UK in various habitats like woodlands, urban areas, farmlands, and grasslands. In the colder northern and eastern parts of Europe and western Asia, they migrate, but in the UK, they are mostly resident and abundant. 

Large flocks can be seen migrating south during late autumn, particularly heading towards the Iberian Peninsula.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Woodpigeons)

The Woodpigeon’s call is a distinctive and loud cooing, often described as “coo-COO-COO-coo-coo.” This call is a familiar and comforting sound across the UK’s parks and woodlands. The mnemonic phrases like “Take two cows, Teddy” humorously interpret this unique birdsong.

Fun Woodpigeon Facts (kid friendly)

  • Woodpigeons can live up to 17 years and 8 months, making them one of the longer-living birds in the UK.
  • They have a unique drinking method – they use their beak like a straw to suck up water.
  • Juvenile Woodpigeons don’t have white neck patches until they’re about 6 months old.
  • They can be found in almost every part of the UK, from cities to countryside.
  • Woodpigeons are known for their distinctive waddling walk.

Facts About The Woodpigeon

Diet: Crops like cabbages, sprouts, peas and grain. Also buds, shoots, seeds, nuts and berries.
Bird Family: Pigeons and doves
Length: 40-42cm
Wingspan: 75-80cm
Weight: 480-550g
Scientific Name: Columba palumbus

The Woodpigeon Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Woodpigeon Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile