Columba palumbus

The woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) is a wild pigeon, the biggest one in Europe. It is 75 cm wingspan and 500 g maximum weight. White spots on the neck differentiate the woodpigeon from other species.

In Catalunya, the woodpigeon is sedentary with separated summer and winter populations in different areas. It’s frequent in Bages district.

It lives and nests mainly in dense forests that are surrounded by crops, but it’s also found in trees in urban areas. Its nest is a simple work of small branches. The woodpigeon feeds on seeds (pinenuts, acorns, fruits of Chinese privet (photos 5th and 6th), grains,…) and also on buds in winter time. In summer, flocks of woodpigeons look for grains in stubbles.

The woodpigeon egg-lays normally twice a season, from April to August, and even complementary egg-lays if a former one was lost. Male and female are similar. They share the sitting on eggs. The female sits on the eggs from 16h to 8h next day, while the male sits on the remaining day period.

Its loud cooing can be heard throughout Bages district from January to August, during court and brood season. However, it doesn’t coo out of this period.

[photos Florenci Vallès (1st and 2nd), Oriol Oms (3rd) and Jordi Badia (4th, 5th and 6th)]