Photos: Ingmar Muusikus and Arne Ader
Common wood pigeon Kaelustuvi or meigas Columba palumbus
Wood pigeons avoid if possible pine woods but all remaining forest types suit them well, quite as parks or even home gardens. In the forest the well-known wing clatter of pigeons may seem a little eerie but by this they also warn their species comrades when taking off into flight. The wood pigeon is the dominating pigeon in our nature and for comparison their number is similar to that of the familiar domestic pigeon – 50 to 80 thousand birds. Arriving birds and passing migrants are noticeable in daytime, the flight image is quite powerful.
The wood pigeon is larger and with a longer tail than other pigeons: average body length 40 centimetres, weight around half a kilo. Adult birds of both sexes are similar. The white patches on the neck and bands on the wings are characteristic. Head and throat have the classic “pigeon colours”, besides the white patches there is green and wine red metallic sheen. The wine red sheen is noticeable on the breast and even the underparts. The iris of the eye is whitish yellow, legs red.
The pre-nesting low-pitched pigeon cooing we still have to wait a while for.
Stock doves (Columba oenas) have also been seen but they are not very numerous. Most frequently seen in the West Estonian forests and particularly pine forests where we won’t meet wood pigeons.
Wood pigeon observations: LINK