Ringneck Doves: A Handbook of Care and Breeding by Wade Oliver
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  EXOTIC (WILD) SPECIES - European Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)


Adult: The head is a soft blue-grey, with a slight greenish-purple gloss on the nape. The feathers of the sides of the neck are rather stiff and arranged in lines forming the characteristics furrows seen in many species in the genus. These feathers are strongly glassed with green to purple iridescence. Below this is a large and distinct patch of white-tipped feathers. The greenish-purple gloss of the hindneck fades into a brownish-grey mantle, inner wing-coverts and tertials. Remaining wing-coverts are grey except for the outer three or four which are white, forming, with the distal lesser coverts, a bold white crescent on both the closed and open wing. Alula and primary coverts are balckish. Flight feathers are dark brownish-grey, each primary variabley fringed with white along the leading edge of the outerwebs, especially basally. The back, rump and uppertail-coverts are blue-grey shading into the grey tail-base. Tail has an ill-defined broad blackish apical band, less distinct on the outer feathers. The throat and chin are soft blue-grey like the head, but often slightly paler. The breast is vinous-pink grading into paller pink on the belly and pale grey on the vent. Undertail-coverts are pale grey, and slightly darker on the belly. Undertail dark grey basally with a clearly demarcated blackish terminal band, broadest on the central feathers and with a broad, pale grey median band. Then underwing-coverts are blue-grey. The iris is pale yellow. Orbital skin is greyish, not readily visible in the field. The bill is yellowish with a paler tip and reddish base; the cere is white. Feet are purplish-pink.

Juvenile: Much duller and browner than the adult, lacking the glossy colors and the white neck-patch because iridescence is acquired with age. Wing-coverts have narrow buff fringes; white on the wing-coverts is duller. The vinous coloring of the breast is duller and more restricted to the foreneck. The iris is grey, tinged yellow. The bill is yellowish with a darker tip and a brownish-red base; cere is brownish-grey. The feet are slate-grey tinged with purple.

Other Names:

Common Wood Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Ringdove, Cushat, Cushadoo, Quest, Ring Pigeon

Subspecies: C. p. palumbus, C. p. maderensis, C. p. azorica, C. p. excelsa, C. p. iranica, C. p. casiotis

Natural Habitat:

All habitats. Highest populations in well-wooded agricultural land.

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