Stock Dove

I’m sure you’ve heard somewhere about the stock dove, one of the most beloved by lovers of pigeon breeding. Would you like to learn something interesting about this bird? Well, keep reading!

Pretty widespread

It is known scientifically as the oenas columba, and is a bird that is quite widespread in Europe, Western Asia and Morocco, being quite similar to the domestic version of the rock dove but smaller.

In Spain there are small colonies in all types of environments, except in the Balearic Islands. They seem to prefer to live in flat areas with crops within their reach, where they can easily obtain food. It is not common to see them living in high mountain areas.

Is it that different from the rock dove?

Some might physically confuse her with the brave, but it’s different. To begin with, it is a smaller bird, measuring 30 cm in length, with a uniform grey plumage, even on the undersides of the wings, except for the flight feathers and the end of these which are blackish in colour.

The only touches of colour that will be found in its plumage are the iridescences, which are green or purple, depending on the incidence of light. Their beaks are reddish with yellow tips and black eyes, while the rest of the pigeons are yellow or orange.

stock pigeon

The biggest difference it has with the bravia, as well as the domestic one, is the bishop, which is grey and not white like the others. It also lacks the two dark stripes of the wings, which are thinner in their case, and the beak is reddish and yellow, while the wild ones are blackish. Others may mistake it for a wood pigeon, but it is easy to tell the difference because it has no white stripes in the neck area and the wings of the woodpigeon are smaller.

Two subspecies are also recognized:

  • Columba oenas oenas oenas: The nominal species that was discovered in 1758 and is found in the western PAlearctic.
  • Columba oenas yarkandensis: It was discovered in 1908 and can be found in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and western China.

Any interesting facts about this bird?

The feeding of the stock dove is composed especially of vegetable matter, preferring the buds and young seedlings. But it can also be seen feeding on seeds, insects and small invertebrates like worms that peck at them from the ground. In some periods it can be fed with acorns and pine nuts. Laurel, hawthorn, cereals and legumes usually make up their main diet.

When they are going to breed, it is normal for them to build their nest in the holes of old trees, without contributing much material to the nest. It has sometimes been observed that they build their nests in rabbit burrows, ancient ruins or between hedges and ivy, but can also nest in nest boxes. They do not usually nest close to each other, respecting each other’s territory.

columba oenas

At each laying, the stock doves can lay up to 3 eggs during the two months of rearing, between March and September. Incubation is done by both parents for two and a half weeks. It takes the chicks about a month to learn to fly and leave the nest.

It does not seem to be a bird that is very accustomed to contact with humans, even though many poultry farmers keep it among the birds in their dovecotes. He usually likes to be with his own species more than sharing space with birds of other breeds.

Related Entries