Animals

Common Wood Pigeon: 19 Facts You Won't Believe!

Common wood pigeon facts shed light on this beautiful bird.
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The word 'pigeon' has a French origin and is derived from the Latin word 'pipio', meaning 'a peeping chick'. The common wood pigeon is also known as the cushat, cushy-do, quist, ringdove, and woody. This avian is locally known as the culver in southeast England. The common wood pigeon belongs to the family of pigeons and doves. These birds take off with a loud clattering. In the first year after their birth, the rate of survival for a juvenile is 52 %, while the rate of survival for an adult in a year is 61 %. The nests are often attacked by other avians like crows.

Like reading about these wood pigeons and want to know more about them? Let's move dig deeper into this avian species. If you like reading about these wood pigeons, you may also like reading about the umbrellabird and dove.

Common Wood Pigeon

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Larvae ants, small ants, and small worms

What do they eat?

Omnivore

Average litter size?

2 eggs

How much do they weigh?

10- 22 oz (300-615 g)

How long are they?

14- 17.5 in (38-44.5 cm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Gray white plumage, white neck patch, prominent eyes, and beak

Skin Type

Feathers

What are their main threats?

Humans

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Deciduous forests, coniferous forests, shrublands, farm fields, parks, gardens, towns, and cities

Locations

Asia, Europe, UAE, and northern Africa

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Aves

Scientific Name

Columba palumbus

Family

Columbidae

Genus

Columba

Common Wood Pigeon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a common wood pigeon?

The common wood pigeon is a bird belonging to the phylum Chordata and the order Columbiformes.

What class of animal does a common wood pigeon belong to?

The common wood pigeon belongs to the class Aves and is a species of pigeon.

How many common wood pigeons are there in the world?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, there are 51,000,000-73,000,000 mature individuals of wood pigeons in the world.  Also, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the population of wood pigeons in their range is increasing. This is miraculous as wood pigeons are hunted heavily by humans.

Where does a common wood pigeon live?

The wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) habitat range is vast. Wood pigeons are found in deciduous forests, coniferous forests, shrublands, farm fields, parks and gardens, towns, and cities.

What is a common wood pigeon's habitat?

The wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) habitat range can be found in Asia, Europe, the UAE, and northern Africa. The common wood pigeon range map and distribution is vast.

Who do common wood pigeons live with?

The wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) is seen in large flocks outside the breeding season. The bird is very social by nature.

How long does a common wood pigeon live?

The wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) can live anywhere between three to 17 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of this bird is usually in the months of August to September, or the fall months. However, breeding may take place year-round depending on the availability of food. The males become aggressive during the mating season, resulting in fights. There are changes in the physical appearance of these pigeons as well. The plumage, particularly the head, becomes darker. In the breeding season to attract a female, the male walks on a branch of a tree with lowered wings, a fanned tail, and a swelled neck. During the courtship display flight, the wings are cracked like a whiplash and the pigeon glides on stiff wings. The display flight of these birds is indeed interesting.

The nest is built in trees and bushes and the nest is built mainly of sticks. The females lay two white eggs. The eggs are incubated for 17-19 days and the young birds fledge after 33-34 days or when they a few months old.  The young birds are fed crop or pigeon milk by both parents. The crop milk is rich in nutrition.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, common wood pigeons are classified as Least Concern, just like the pigeon guillemot.

Common Wood Pigeon Fun Facts

What do common wood pigeons look like?

The juvenile avian has an overall lighter gray plumage compared to the adult. The common wood pigeon tail is black. The juvenile does not have white patches on either side of the neck. After 16 weeks when they are a few months old, the small white patches on the sides of the neck appear on the juvenile. The small white neck patch grows with age for the juvenile. The adult also has green patches along with the white neck patch and there is a pink patch on the chest area. The juvenile has a grayer beak. The wingspan is 27-31 in (68-80 cm). The distinct blue-gray plumage and the white patches help to identify an adult. They have prominent eyes.

The common wood pigeon in USA and the United Kingdom is a common sight.

How cute are they?

These avians are extremely fluffy and cute. However, the common pigeon is a major pest in the UK as this avian is a crop destroyer. Avian distribution of this bird is widespread in Britain

How do they communicate?

The common wood pigeon sound is 'cooing coo'. The 'coo-COO-coo-coo-coo'  is heard before these avians are even seen.

How big is a common wood pigeon?

The common wood pigeon is  14- 17.5 in (38-44.5 cm) in length. It is slightly larger than the German nun pigeon but is smaller than the Nicobar pigeon.

How fast can a common wood pigeon fly?

Pigeon birds can fly at great speeds. The highest speed is 92.5 mph (148 kph). Also, they are known to cover long distances. The white patches on the neck are visible on the common wood pigeon in flight. In-flight the bird is quick and in-flight the bird makes regular beats with its wings.

How much does a common wood pigeon weigh?

The common wood pigeon weighs 10- 22 oz (300-615 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male common wood pigeon is called a cock. A female common wood pigeon is called a hen.

What would you call a baby common wood pigeon?

A baby common wood pigeon is called a squab.

What do they eat?

The common wood pigeon is classified as a herbivore, frugivore, folivore, granivore, and insectivore. The diet of this bird includes larvae ants and small ants, and small worms. The bird's diet includes grains, berries, and pine nuts. This species of bird's diet also includes round and fleshy leaves of vegetables. In the fall, acorns and figs serve as food for this species. In the winter, buds of trees and also bushes are preferred. The bird also eats young shoots and seedlings.

Are they poisonous?

Pigeons carry many diseases. Humans should be careful while handling these birds.

Would they make a good pet?

Though pigeons are kept as pets, they may not be very good as pets. This is primarily due to hygiene issues.

Did you know...

Wood pigeons are fit for human consumption.

The common wood pigeon migration is partial migration.

The avian faces year-round shooting by humans.

The common wood pigeon is a common garden bird in the UK. They are typically sedentary. However, in the colder northern and eastern parts of Europe, this bird is migratory. The birds move towards the Mediterranean in the fall. However, the populations in southern and western Europe are mostly sedentary due to the climate.

The goshawk preys on the woody. The body feathers are loose and fall on the face of the predator and thus helps the woody to escape.

The bird is a great disperser of seeds.

How did the common wood pigeon get its name?

The epithet 'palumbus' is taken from the Latin 'palumbes' which means 'a wood pigeon'. The name was given by Carl Linnaeus.

What is the difference between a wood pigeon and a normal pigeon?

The wood pigeon is bulkier than the normal pigeon. Also the woodpigeon builds nest in places that are quieter. The nests are often built near sources of water by the woodpigeon. The woodpigeon faces a higher risk of predation compared to the normal pigeon. This is because the woodpigeon is often found in the countryside, unlike the normal pigeon. Also, the woodpigeon has a better diet than a normal pigeon.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our hummingbird facts and summer tanager facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable pale-billed woodpecker coloring pages.

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