Studying the possibility of expanding your loft with new species? If you’re not sure which one you should choose, why not try the wood pigeon? I’m sure he won’t let you down like a bird.
Where’s this pigeon from?
The woodcock plume, known scientifically as columba palumbus, is also known simply as woodcock and is widespread in temperate Europe, as well as in North Africa and the Middle East.
They are sedentary, but when you breed in cold regions they migrate south during the winter months. They like to live in forests, wooded areas or riverside forests. When they are looking for food, they usually go to meadows when food is scarce. In urban gardens that have many trees it is common to see them.
And what does it look like?
Within the pigeon family it is large, measuring between 38 – 44 cm, and can weigh more than 615 grams, being a pigeon quite robust. There is no sexual dimorphism, so DNA testing must be used to determine the sex of the child for breeding.
The head is smaller than the rest of the body. The wings and tail are longer than other European pigeons. Its main characteristic is the white spots on both sides of its neck, as well as the white strip on the top of each wing that is only visible when flying, which makes it easy to distinguish from other pigeons.
The colour of the plumage is generally greyish, with bluish tones on the head, brown on the back and slightly lighter on the underside, with a wine-coloured chest. It has green iridescence in the neck area. The primary and secondary feathers are black, as well as the tail ends in a black band. The color of its beak is pink, except for the tip which is a yellowish-orange color.
Five subspecies are recognized:
- Columba palumbus azorica: Which can be found in the Azores.
- Columba palumbus cassiotis: Residing in southeastern Iran and extending as far as Nepal.
- Columba palumbus iranica: It can be found in Iran, in the south, and in Turkmenistan.
- Columba palumbus maderensis: It is extinct and lived in Madeira.
- Columba palumbus palumbus: The nominal species, which is widespread in the West and North Africa.
What else is known about this bird?
Although it is a bird that is usually kept in aviaries, it is more destined for reproduction and breeding than as a pet bird. Many train them to be like flying birds, as they are very good flyers, but they are not so good for show or posing competitions.
Their diet consists mainly of plant matter such as the leaves of trees, when tender, and herbaceous plants belonging to the Caryophyllaceae or Cruciferae family. It can also be seen eating grass, seeds and weapons. During the fall season it is normal to see them eating acorns and figs, while in winter they feed mainly on tree shoots and seeds. To complete their diet, they take ant larvae and pupae, as well as insects and arachnids that are soft. Sometimes they like to eat invertebrates.
It is during the month of March when the period of courtship begins from the male to the female, with a loving flight and sound fluttering flaps in flight. It appears to be a bird that may have two clutches per year, although it is usually only one. The female lays two eggs, which she incubates for an average of 18 days and the chicks remain in the care of their parents until they are just over a month old.