Stock Dove - Columba oenas


Stock Doves are similar in plumage and size to Rock Doves/Feral Pigeons. They are largely blue-grey with an attractive iridescent bottle green band on the back of the neck. Unlike Rock Doves/Feral Pigeons they do not have pale rumps and they lack the white neck band and wing bars of Wood Pigeons. In flight they show black edges to the wing and two partial black bands near their back. They are widely distributed in the UK, except for parts of northern Scotland and Ireland, with particularly high densities in the English Midlands and the south west. Over half their European population is found in the UK.

Identification difficulty

Across the UK. In the breeding season, look in parkland, along woodland edges, and by quarries and cliffs. In winter, look for small flocks feeding on farmland stubbles.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

Though it often nests in trees it prefers parklands to thick woods. It is also common on coasts where the cliffs provide holes. Most of its food is vegetable; young shoots and seedlings are favoured, and it will take grain as well as insects and snails.

UK Status

Common everywhere in britain except for the extreme north of Scotland

VC55 Status

Common breeding bird in Leicestershire and Rutland

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map