wood pigeon with a different call

Hello. I'm new to this site and I hope someone can answer my query. We have lots of wood pigeons around us as we live in woodland. This year, at least one of the birds is making a different call and has been doing so all season. Instead of the usual "Take TWO cows Taffy", this one sings " I TOLD you yesterday" 1.e. 3 beats at the end of each phrase instead of the usual 2. Is this common around the country, or have I got a real oddity here? Thanks for reading this and I hope somebody knows!
  • Hi Alison welcome to the community from Sheffield.

    I've only heard the standard call and I've just been looking at other sites on the internet with Woodpigeon calls on them and can't find one to match your call.

    You may have one that has developed it's own call or a local dialect, you will have to see if you hear any more doing it.

    My Flickr photos

  • Hello Alison and welcome from me up in the very far north of Scotland, in Caithness. I love your exlplanation in musical terms! I don't have an answer, maybe you do have some sort of oddity! We are a friendly bunch here, always someone at hand to help, maybe later on as folks log on after tea. Hope you enjoy being here.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Catlady:

    Thanks for the welcomes.I don't know if it's just the one bird or several because the calls come from many directions. Perhaps the "oddity" has taught its call to its offspring!

  • In reply to Alison B:

    Hi Alison, funny you should say that. Just yesterday I was listening to one in my garden doing exactly the same thing, three notes at the end! I'm in Barnsley, South Yorkshire

  • In reply to see gull:

    Hi Alison, and welcome!  I've heard the occasional Woodie making a three 'beat' call too.  Maybe there is a bit of competition about and it pays to stand out in the crowd with a slight variation on the usual call.  I'm sure you're right and the young ones will learn it too.  I'm in 'sunny' ;) South Wales...


  • In reply to dotty:

    I read in my Wood Pigeon book years ago that an extra note at the end of their usual call indicated that the bird was breeding.   I've always called it an 'extra oooh at the end of the song' which isn't perhaps as good a description as yours lol ... but I'm sure this is what it is.  

  • In reply to Molly:

    That's really interesting Molly, thank you

  • I'm new here and wanted to say thanks for bringing up the Wood Pigeon call. We have one who we've named 'Dick' after Dick Emery and his skinhead character "Dad,I think I done it wrong again".
    The call "my toe bleeds Betty" is generally 3 times then "Look!" at the end.
    Dick does it 5 times, then "look" twice! Then he sits and grumbles for ages.
    It's really strange, in a humorous way.
  • I’ve noticed this same unusual Wood Pigeon call several times. “My toe hurts me Betty”. The first was in Angers in the Loire Valley about 18 years ago, also in Stockbridge and Owslebury (pronounced Ozzlebury) in Hampshire. I’ve also noticed other variations on occasion but can’t recall exactly what. The latest was a few weeks ago also in Hampshire. In each case the call was repeated over more than one day..
  • In reply to Barafundle:

    Hi, there's been a woodpigeon near my home in South East Wales for many years, that has a call very similar to that described by Barafundle. I've always thought of it as sounding like a disgruntled football crowd singing "What a load of rubbish!" This year I've heard at least 3 woodpigeons using the same call (one of which has chicks in a nest just outside our house, but the partner has a 'normal' woodpigeon call), so perhaps the youngsters are picking up their 'accent' from their parents!