21 Facts about Wood Pigeons

Hi there

Another load of facts about Wood Pigeons

Source: http://www.jacobijayne.co.uk/21-facts/

1. Feeding flocks are highly gregarious, and may number many thousands of birds.

2. In many parts of Europe the wood pigeon is the favourite prey of the goshawk.

3. Though they have been recorded breeding in every month of the year, the peak month for fledging is August.

4. The majority of young birds are likely to die within their first 12 months, but the record age for a ringed wild bird is over 16.

5. It takes 17 days for an egg to hatch, and a further 30 to 34 days for the chick to fledge.

6. Squabs are fed by both parents on a liquid known as crop or pigeon milk.

7. A female woody never lays more than two eggs in a clutch, but she may lay as many as six repeat clutches in a year if she loses her eggs.

8. The nest is a simple platform of twigs, usually built in a tree. However, where trees are in short supply these adaptable birds will build inside buildings, or even on the ground.

9. In winter the pecking rate when feeding increases from around 70 pecks a minute in the morning to over 100 before going to roost.

10. Though most of the food is taken on the ground, woodies are remarkably agile when feeding in trees.

11. Oilseed rape is a favourite winter food, and partly explains why these birds are thriving in the modern countryside.

12. The capacity of the crop is remarkable: it can hold as many as 150 acorns, 1,000 grains of wheat or 200 beans.

13. It takes a young woody 16 weeks to acquire its distinctive white neck ring.

14. The woody is almost exclusively vegetarian, in winter stuffing its crop to capacity, then digesting the food overnight.

15. Many sportsmen still believe that the flocks of small, dark wood pigeons they see in the autumn are migrants from the Continent; they are in fact young birds.

16. In Britain populations are largely sedentary, seldom moving more than 10 miles from where they hatched, but northern European birds are strongly migratory, moving south towards the Mediterranean every autumn.

17. It is also is a much-valued sporting bird, but despite year-round shooting its number continue to grow.

18. This bird is considered to be a major agricultural pest, causing at least £3 million worth of damage to crops annually in the UK.

19. It is one of the few birds that thrive in intensively farmed countryside, while it is also equally at home in town parks and suburban gardens.

20. Though wood pigeon is the most commonly used name, this bird is also known as the woody, cushat, cushy-do, quist, ringdow and ring dove.

21. It’s by far the most numerous large wild bird in Britain, with a population estimated at around 2.5 million pairs.

Regards

Kathy and Dave

  • Thanks Blackbird. Most interesting.

    Nicki C said:
    It’s by far the most numerous large wild bird in Britain, with a population estimated at around 2.5 million pairs.

    So why are there none in my garden? Only ever seen 1, but I get his cousins the feral pigeons and collared doves.

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    In reply to Sparrow:

    hi Sparrow

    We get load of Woodies in Bedford

    Strange that you do not get the Woodies in your patch. Sparrow? {puzzled}

    I am under the impression that they are not to fussy about the food they eat at all

    So Woodies are just happy to visit any garden with bird food?

    Amazing to know that they are not around in some areas of the UK

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    Susan H said:

    Thanks Blackbird. Most interesting.

    It’s by far the most numerous large wild bird in Britain, with a population estimated at around 2.5 million pairs.

    So why are there none in my garden? Only ever seen 1, but I get his cousins the feral pigeons and collared doves.

    [/quote]

     

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Hi Kathy,

    I have no idea why I don't get them. I do look closely at the ferals to make sure I'm not missing one, but I have only ever seen that one single one, and that was last summer.

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • In reply to Sparrow:

    Sparrow

    The traditional view was that woodies are too nervous of both enclosed areas (like most normal gardens!) and of humans (pigeon pie anyone?) to show up regularly.

    We do get a couple, but if anything I think this proves the rule - as there are flocks of 50 plus in the field just over our fence, but seldom within 50 yards of the fence.  The woodies are also unlikely to appear until the collared doves have swept the area and declared it safe!

    I bet the farmer wishes he was like you and woodieless, they must be absolutely wrecking his field of rape. 

    Laurence

  • In reply to fittmonk:

    This morning  a solitary wood pigeon arrived and cleared a mesh tray on my fence of food. This is my second woody in 5 months. No arable farming in this area, not for miles. We are a sheep area due to the hills.

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • In reply to Sparrow:

    You can have some of mine if you want .lol

    I get a few of them.

    Hey farmer, farmer, put away the D.D.T now. Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees, please!

  • In reply to Janet:

    Hi Janet,

    Thanks for the offer, but I think I'll decline!! I have enough with my ferals.

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • In reply to Sparrow:

    Thank you for the woody facts, Blackbird :o)

    They're certainly a bird you'll see round here - and I've noticed more and more in the town mingling with the ferals too.

    They usually come in pairs here, one feeding wedged/balanced on the seed feeder and the other on the feeding station.  Today on the other hand I had 4 in the garden, but the most I've ever seen in the garden was 9!  If you look on the house roofs you're bound to see one, but I have noticed they're not staying long with us now, maybe they're getting picky and don't want my sunflower mix!

  • Nicki C said:


    18. This bird is considered to be a major agricultural pest, causing at least £3 million worth of damage to crops annually in the UK.

    I can understand that, they cleared all my winter veg in a day, all I have left is stalks.

    Build it and they will come.

  • In reply to Wildlife friendly:

    Far too many clattering around our suburbs even, but they mainly need culling in order to stop the trichonomosis they're spreading (to finches mostly) - but Britons seem too soft these days to allow it! Doubtless EU-inspired greed is behind the need for winter rapeseed, in any case (while smaller, more vulnerbale birds get deprived of winter stubble, Wood Pigeons don't die off naturally in the numbers they normally would, and the soil isn't given the opportunity to recover). Also, rapeseed's reduced saturated fat vs olive oil is not the health benefit that many people claim, whilst its advantage of not degrading after heating is really just a luxury.