Stock Dove Columba oenas   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Columbiformes Family: Columbidae
BTO Codes: SD, STODO EURING No: 6680
Number in Britain: 260 thousand Territories (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: oenas recorded in Britain (of 2 subsp. in the world)
Length: 33 cm Wingspan: 66 cm Weight: M/F: 300 g    
Scientific name from: L.: columba=a pigeon or dove and Gr.: oinas=a pigeon
World Distribution: Europe, c Asia, nw Africa
Habitat: Farmland, towns, open woodlands
Diet: Seeds, leaves and buds, occasionally invertebrates
TitBit: A hole-nester, Stock Doves will even nest in rabbit holes, and of old East Anglian warreners would place crossed-sticks so the parents could continue to feed the chicks while preventing them from leaving the nest so they could be taken later for the pot.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore    BBS Maps
British Population Size:
    Summer: 260 thousand Territories in 2009
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Important Breeding Population
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: oenas AMBER (Important Population)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Arable Farmland
    Also common in: Villages, Deciduous Wood
    And found in: Pasture Farmland
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
European Population Size:
    Summer: 520 to 710 thousand pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WBD(II*), Bern(III)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from the Winter Farmland Bird Survey

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 38 x 29 mm Egg Weight: 16.7 g (of which 7 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 368
Clutch Size: 2 eggs 2.04 ▒ 0.34 (1 - 3) N = 2223
Incubation: 21- 23 days 21.90 ▒ 2.53 (17.5 - 26.5) N = 2207   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 28 - 29days 28.00 ▒ 3.14 (21 - 33) N = 2665 as: Altricial, downy
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 4 Jun (6 Apr - 24 Aug)
Number of Broods: 1-4
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.550       
Juvenile Survival: 0.400 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 3 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 9 years 2 months 12 days (set in 1962)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: E
Wing Length Adult: 222.4 ▒ 8.4 Range 210 - 234 mm, N =316
Juvenile: 210.7 ▒ 9.2 192 - 223 mm, N =38
Male: 225.0 ▒ 6.3 216 - 236 mm, N =45
Female: 224.4 ▒ 10.6 210 - 235 mm, N =73
Weight Adult: 326.3 ▒ 40.84 Range 245.0 - 387.0 g , N =141
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: 335.6 ▒ 36.79 274.0 - 400.0 g , N =27
Female: 329.0 ▒ 37.10 280.0 - 390.0 g , N =51
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Stock Pigeon
Gaelic: Calman-gorm Welsh: Colomen Wyllt
Danish: Huldue Dutch: Holeduif
Finnish: Uuttukyyhky French: Pigeon colombin
German: Hohltaube Hungarian: KÚk galamb
Icelandic: Holud˙fa Irish: Colm Gorm
Italian: Colombella Norwegian: Skogdue
Polish: Siniak Portuguese: Pombo-bravo
Spanish: Paloma zurita Swedish: Skogsduva

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Goodwin, D. 1983 Pigeons and doves of the world (3rd ed) Cornell University Press, Ithaca [598.623 GOO]
See Also:
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Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides