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Woodpigeon

Columba palumbus

Colm coille

Woody, Wood pig, Woodquest.

One of Ireland's top-20 most widespread garden birds.

Status: Resident, with birds joined by large numbers of immigrants from Britain and the continent in the winter.

Conservation Concern: Green-listed in Ireland. The European population is considered to be Secure.

Identification
: The largest of the pigeons in Ireland with a proportionally long tail and small head. A full breast. Easily identified in flight by large white wing bands traversing the upper wing. White and green patches on the side of the neck. In the breeding season they are conspicuous in upward-soaring display flights which end in wing clapping.

Similar Species: Stock Dove.

Call: Clattering wing noise on take off. The song consists of a hollow three noted cooing - "whooo who huhu".

Diet: Mainly plant material, green leaves, seeds, berries, buds, flowers and root crops.

Breeding: A widespread breeder, found throughout Ireland, only in the higher hills and mountains are they absent. Originally a woodland bird, it is also found in parks and gardens, even in town centres where they have become quite tame. A very adaptable bird, it has been recorded breeding in heather and stunted bushes in the windswept west of the country.

Wintering: The Irish population is boosted by wintering birds from Continental Europe. Flocks of several hundred to a thousand may gather in good feeding areas.

Where to See: Not difficult to see, look out for large flocks of migrants flying over head in the autumn.

Monitored by: Countryside Bird Survey & Garden Bird Survey.

 

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