The Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) is Europe’s largest pigeon.
It is about 40-42 centimetres (16 inches) in length with a wing span of 75-80 centimetres (30-32 inches), weighing about 500 grams (just over a pound).
The Common Wood Pigeon has grey feathers, a pinkish chest, and a green, white and purple collar around its neck. The tail has a black tip and the wings have white patches.
The Common Wood Pigeon feeds on seeds, grain and crops. Unlike other birds that scoop up water to drink and lift their heads to let the water flow down their throat, the Wood Pigeon sucks up water. This action might be because they drink a lot of water – more than most birds of the same size.
The Wood Pigeon nests in trees or on buildings. Female lays two white, shiny eggs, about 4 centimetres long. When the chicks hatch after 17-19 days, their mother feeds her young on milky liquid from her crop.
The young spend about five weeks in the nest before becoming independent.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM