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

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

Wood pigeons, also known as Columba palumbus, are the largest species of pigeon found in the United Kingdom. They are easily distinguishable from other pigeons, such as the feral pigeon and stock dove, by several key characteristics.

Firstly, the wood pigeon can be identified by its distinctive pink breast. This vibrant coloration sets it apart from other pigeons, which typically have more muted shades on their chests. The pink hue is quite striking and helps to make the wood pigeon easily recognizable.

Another distinguishing feature of the wood pigeon is the white neck patch it possesses. This patch stands out prominently against the bird’s dark grayish-blue plumage. It is located at the base of the neck, just above the breast, and adds to the bird’s overall appearance.

During flight, the wood pigeon displays another characteristic that sets it apart from other pigeon species. The bird has white patches on its wings that become visible as it takes to the air. These patches contrast with the rest of the wing, which is predominantly dark in color. This feature is particularly useful for identifying wood pigeons in flight, as it provides a clear visual cue.

In terms of size, wood pigeons are notably larger than most other pigeon species. They can measure up to 42 centimeters in length, with a wingspan of around 75 centimeters. This size difference is especially noticeable when comparing wood pigeons to feral pigeons, which are much smaller in comparison.

Wood pigeons are primarily woodland birds and can often be found in parks, gardens, and other areas with trees. They have a preference for feeding on plant matter, including seeds, grains, and berries. This dietary preference may also differ from that of feral pigeons, which are more commonly associated with urban environments and scavenging for food scraps.

In my personal experience, I have often come across wood pigeons in my local park. Their distinctive pink breasts and white neck patches make them easy to spot among the trees. I have also observed their behavior, such as their feeding habits and flight patterns, which further reinforce their unique characteristics.

The wood pigeon can be distinguished from other pigeon species by its pink breast, white neck patch, and the white patches visible on its wings during flight. Its larger size and preference for woodland habitats also set it apart from other pigeons commonly found in urban areas.