Stock Dove

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Scientific Name: Columba oenas
Size: 33cm
Weight: 300g
Wingspan: 66cm
Lifespan: 3 years
Breeding: March
Number of Clutches: 2-3
Number of Eggs: 1-2
Incubation Days: 16-18
Fledg Days: 27-28
Habitat: Farmland, towns, open woodlands
Distribution: Europe, c Asia, nw Africa


The Stock Dove looks very similar to the slightly bigger Feral Pigeon or much bigger Wood Pigeon. It has a pink tinged breast and an patch of iridescent green on the side of the neck over a predominantly blue-grey plumage with two small black wing bars and a black tipped tail. Unlike the adult Wood Pigeon, Stock Doves have no white neck patch and are darker. They have pink legs and a yellow-orange bill and the juveniles have no green neck patches and appear duller. The one feature that stands them apart from either the Feral or Wood Pigeon are their glossy black eyes.


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.


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

Legal Status

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.


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

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