Stock Pigeon (Columba oenas) - Wiki
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[Photo] Stock Pigeon (Columba oenas). Newcastle, Northumberland, UK; 26 November 2005. Photo by MPF.
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The Stock Pigeon
) (formerly Stock Dove
) is a member of the family Columbidae
s and pigeon
In the northern part of its European and western Asiatic range the Stock Pigeon
is a migrant, elsewhere it is a well distributed and often plentiful resident.
The three western European Columba pigeon
s, though superficially alike, have very distinctive characters. The Wood Pigeon
may at once be told by the white on its neck (in adults) and wings. The Rock Pigeon
and Stock Pigeon
are more alike in size and plumage, but wild specimens of the former have a white rump and two well-marked dark bars on the wing, while the rump of the Stock Pigeon
is grey and its wing bars incomplete. Feral pigeon
(the same species as Rock Pigeon
) is highly variable, and indistinctly marked grey specimens with the white rump missing can sometimes resemble the Stock Pigeon
The haunts of the Stock Pigeon
are in more or less open country, for though it often nests in trees it prefers parklands to thick woods. It is also common on coasts where the cliffs provide holes. Its flight is quick, performed by regular beats, with an occasional sharp flick of the wings, characteristic of pigeon
s in general.
It perches well, and in nuptial display walks along a horizontal branch with swelled neck, lowered wings, and fanned tail. During the circling spring flight the wings are smartly cracked like a whip.
The Stock Pigeon
is sociable as well as gregarious, often consorting with Wood Pigeon
s, though doubtless it is the presence of food which brings them together.
Most of its food is vegetable; young shoots and seedlings are favoured, and it will take grain.
The short, deep, "grunting" Ooo-uu-ooh call is quite distinct from the modulated cooing notes of the Wood Pigeon
; it is loud enough to be described, somewhat fancifully, as "roaring".
The nest (though nesting material is seldom used) is usually in a hole in a tree, a crack in a rock face, or in a rabbit burrow, but the bird also nests in ivy, or in the thick growth round the boles of common lime (linden) trees. It will also use nest boxes.
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