Wood Pigeons (Columba palambus)

Wood pigeons are one of the most common bird sitings in the UK. Populations of these birds are so high, leading to crop damage that they are actually classed as vermin which gives you some idea of just how many there are around.


The general appearance of wood pigeons is a large, plump bird of around 30cm in length. They have a base colour of grey with a white ring around their necks and a metallic purple patch on their breast.

The wood pigeons have two trade-mark calls; a gentle but repetitive cooing and a much louder call typically used when in flight.


Wood pigeons most typically frequent woodlands and their loud, clapping flight is a common experience when walking in these areas. However these pigeons seem to be comfortable in virtually any habitat and may be found either on the ground or roosting in trees and on other tall structures.

Farmland is another popular habitat for them where they may try to feed on the fresh green shoots of farmers crops.


Wood pigeons eat a wide variety of foods which is one reason for their success. Young green shoots of plants are typically popular though they may also eat seed, fruit and so on. They will often visit bird tables to feed on bread, biscuit crumbs and the like.

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