Stock Pigeon (Columba oenas)

Stock Pigeon

[order] COLUMBIFORMES | [family] Columbidae | [latin] Columba oenas | [UK] Stock Pigeon | [FR] Pigeon colombin | [DE] Hohltaube | [ES] Paloma Zurita | [NL] Holenduif


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range

Physical charateristics

General color blue grey, with primaries and secondaries with black tips, conspicuous in flight. Two short black bars across upperpart of folded wing with a third shorter and fainter, though in male sometimes quite conspicuous. Breast mauve-pink, iridescent patch of green and mauve-pink on both sides of neck, in some individuals meeting across hindneck.
Tail grey with terminal black band, outermost rectrices with white edges. Iris dark brown, orbital skin blue-grey, bill pink basally and yellow distally, cere white, legs red.
Female duller, with legs and bill darker. Juvenile even duller, mauve-pink of breast replaced by rusty fawn, legs dark.
Race yarkandensis averages paler, with slightly longer wing.

Listen to the sound of Stock Pigeon

[audio: Pigeon.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 60 cm wingspan max.: 66 cm
size min.: 28 cm size max.: 32 cm
incubation min.: 16 days incubation max.: 18 days
fledging min.: 20 days fledging max.: 18 days
broods: 3   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 2  


Eurasia : West, Southwest


Fairly open country, often in cultivation, and extending into open woodland. Partial to borders between forest and open country, with many old trees providing breeding hollows.


Prefers to nest in holes which may be in old trees, rock crevices, rabbit burrows or buildings. Nest may found in clumps of dense vegetation of even under bushes. Nest is usually a twig platform, although sometimes eggs are laid on bare wood.
2 white eggs, incubation 16-18 days.

Feeding habits

Main diet based on vegetation parts, like seeds, grain, green leaves, buds, flowers and some invertebrates. Mostly feeds on the ground


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Stock Pigeon status Least Concern


Northern populations, like those of Fenno-Scandia and E Europe, are almost all migratory; moving further south, populations are progressively less migratory; in S Europe and Asia Minor birds mainly resident. Birds winter in Iberia and southern half of France, as well as rest of N Mediterranean basin.

Distribution map

Stock Pigeon distribution range map

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