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Common Wood Pigeon
Columba palumbus

The Wood Pigeon is the largest of the UK's pigeons, measuring 38-45 cm in length and making it larger than both the Rock Dove and Stock Dove, to which it is closely related. They are abundant throughout Britain and at times have been the country's most common bird. Adult birds (top) are easy to differentiate from the other two Columba pigeons on account of the white neck patches and size, but younger birds (bottom) lack these patches and could be confused with the Stock Dove. Wood Pigeons are quite noisy birds, clattering through trees and clapping their wings and often making their "hroo-hroo-hroo, hoo-hoo" call. Their large numbers means that they are sometimes an agricultural pest and can be hunted and on occasion, they are also eaten.

Common Wood Pigeon

Common Wood Pigeon Juvenile

1: Bitterne Park, Southampton, Hampshire, 30/04/2013.
2: Bitterne Park, Southampton, Hampshire, 20/07/2013.