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Stock Dove

Stock Dove
Both sexes: Blue-grey upperparts, pinkish breast, green neck and two black wing bars.

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.

Stock Dove
Stock Dove

Scientific Name Columba oenas
Length 30-34 cm  (12-14")
Wing Span 60-70 cm  (24-28")
Weight 290-330 g  (10-12 oz)
Breeding Pairs 240000
Present All Year
Status Amber

Distribution map - when and where you are most likely to see the species.


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


© Jean Roché,


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


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


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


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.