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Stock Dove

Stock Dove Stock Dove Both Sexes
Blue-grey upperparts, pinkish breast, green neck and two black wing bars.
Distribution map - when and where you are most likely to see the species.
Columba oenas
Length: 30-34 cm  (12-14")
Wing Span: 60-70 cm  (24-28")
Weight: 290-330 g  (10-12 oz)
Breeding Pairs: 240 000
Present: All Year
Status: Amber

Description

At first glance a Stock Dove looks much like either a Wood Pigeon, which is much bigger, or a Feral Pigeon, which is slightly bigger, and is easily overlooked.

The Stock Dove is mostly blue-grey with a pinkish breast and an iridescent green patch on the side of the neck. There is no white patch on the neck, like on an adult Wood Pigeon, and it is darker than the Wood Pigeon. Perhaps the best differentiating feature, however, is their black eyes. The bill is yellowish and the legs are pink.

They have a black tipped tail and two small black wing-bars on each wing, which are less distinct than the wing-bars on a Rock Dove.

Juveniles are duller and lack the iridescent green neck patch.

Voice

Choose from Quicktime and mp3. Song
  Quicktime mp3

The male Stock Dove has a repetitive "ooh-ut" song.

Feeding

Stock Doves eat seed, leaves, buds, berries and grain. They will visit a bird table.

Nesting

Stock Doves nest in holes in trees or buildings and sometimes in rabbit burrows. The nest is made of twigs and dead leaves.

The smooth, glossy, white eggs have a creamy tint and are about 38 mm by 29 mm in size. Both parents share the duty of incubating the eggs and feeding the nestlings.

Breeding Data
Breeding Starts Number of Clutches Number of Eggs Incubation (days) Fledge (days)
March 2-3 1-2 16-18 27-28

Movements

British birds are mostly sedentary but are joined in the winter by migratory birds from Finland, Scandinavia and northern Europe.

Conservation

Stock Dove populations are continuing to increase from the lows of the 1960s and 70s when they were still suffering from the effects of organochlorine seed-dressings. The recovery means they remain on the Amber List of species of conservation concern.

My Garden

Graph of garden visits.

Stock Doves breed in the local woods but were rarely seen in the garden until a year or so ago when they started visiting quite regularly.


Last revision: 21 Feb 2015
Copyright © David Gains 1999-2017.
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