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UK Nature > Birds > Columba palumbus




Scientific Name: Columba palumbus
Common Name: Wood Pigeon

Columba palumbus, more commonly known as the Wood Pigeon, measures around 40cm in length with a mid-grey head, back and wings. The breast is suffused with a mauve-pink, darker at the throat and fading to light grey underneath. There is a prominent white neck patch and, in flight, the broad white transverse bar on the upper wings, make it easily identifiable.

They feed almost exclusively on seeds, grain and crops, but will feed on almost anything that is placed on a bird table. They drink more than other birds because they do not get sufficient moisture from their food. An interesting feature about how they drink is that they use their beak like a straw, whereas other birds scoop the water up and throw their heads back to let it flow down their throats.

The nest is a flimsy platform made from twigs and built by both sexes in a tree or on a building. Abundant and widespread throughout the UK; seen on farmland, parkland and all types of woodland. Has spread in recent years into town parks and gardens.











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