Fun Stock Dove Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Jan 09, 2023 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Stock dove facts these birds are mostly seen throughout the year in the UK
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

The stock dove, known by the scientific name Columba Oenas, is a species of bird found mostly in the western Palearctic. They are a part of the family of Columbidae which includes doves and pigeons.

The bird species resembles a lot with the wood pigeon but does not have the white neck and white patches on the wings. Wood pigeons are also larger and more common than the stock dove. The stock dove is too dependent on its habitat.

The feral pigeon however is smaller than the stock dove. The feral pigeon is the same as the rock dove.

The bird species have many regional names such as blue rock, wood dove, cushat, sand pigeon, and stogie. They are very friendly birds known to stay near other bird species too.

They are found near wood pigeons and feral pigeons. They are known to nest in the cavities of the trees.

Due to deforestation, these trees are being cut down everywhere in the world. The birds however have learned to let go of their homes in the trees and their nests have been seen in burrows and cracks in cliff edges.

Doves and pigeons form the group called Columbidae which houses the birds we are discussing, and there are 344 species associated with them. Read about the dove and the pigeon only on the Kidadl website. 

Stock Dove Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a stock dove?

The stock doves are a species of birds found mostly in the western Palearctic.

What class of animal does a stock dove belong to?

The birds of the genus Columba fall under the class of Aves in the Animalia kingdom.

How many stock doves are there in the world?

The total population of the bird is not known. The UK has around 300,00 pairs of birds. There are at least 2 million breeding pairs in the world.

Where does a stock dove live?

These doves are found in abundance in the UK, but the distribution is lower in parts of Northern Ireland and northern Scotland. They are also absent in highland areas of Wales.

Stock doves are sometimes found nesting in rabbit warrens when they have no hollow trees left to nest in.

What is a stock dove's habitat?

These birds are commonly found in woodland edges and parklands during the breeding season. In winter, they can also be seen in flocks on farmland. The flocks are usually small. The birds prefer undisturbed sites unlike the wood pigeon and are often seen feeding in arable farmland.

During their autumn migration in October, the doves are seen having a range of food at their disposals like acorns, shoots, and leaves. Their food habits do include insects, but it has been seen that the bird would rather eat human leftovers than insects in the wild.

However, the flocks of the urban population are seen feeding on different types of insects.

Who do stock doves live with?

The dove forms small groups to feed on arable farmland and are often seen with large Wood Pigeon flocks. During breeding, they are found in pairs.

Flocks are usually formed of not more than 50 individuals.

How long does a stock dove live?

The average lifespan of the stock dove (Columba oenas) is three years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the species starts in late February and ends after summer. Simple nests are made where the females lay two glossy white eggs. The incubation period is 16-18 days. There is a possibility of up to four broods. The chicks fledge 25-30 days after hatching.

What is their conservation status?

They are one of the scarcest breeds of doves and need trees to nest. Due to deforestation and general habitat degradation, they have no place to go, and hence, the population has been decreasing in the wild.

The species have been categorized as of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. The bird has also been kept on an Amber alert in the UK.

Stock Dove Fun Facts

What do stock doves look like?

Stock Dove

The plumage of the stock dove is pale gray or brown and has no white marking. They have incomplete dark wing bars. The tail is colored dark-blue gray and has a broad black terminal band.

The back and mantle are all colored dark-blue gray. The rump is a little pale but still gets the gray coloration. A green neck patch can be seen in the blue-gray head.

The eyes are also dark. The breast is colored gray and has a pink coloration to it. The belly is a pale gray. The folded wing is colored blue-gray and has dark, usually black feathers.

In-flight, the bird looks gray from below and has dark primaries. They are seen with a dark trailing edge on the wings and with a dark tail. Both sexes look the same and their legs are dark pink in color.

Juveniles do not have a green neck patch. Otherwise, they have the same plumage as the adults.

The plumage of the stock dove is similar to the feral pigeons/rock doves. Their size is also quite similar to the feral pigeon and the wood pigeon.

How cute are they?

They are considered cute with dark eyes and a grayish body.

How do they communicate?

The song of the bird is low and mournful. The song sounds like 'whooo-hu whooo-hu whooo-hu'. The tone is quite pure.

The feral pigeon/rock dove is not loud, unlike the stock dove. Feral pigeons have a rolling quality in their song which is lacking in the rock dove's song. The pigeon's wings also create a whistling sound.

How big is a stock dove?

Their length ranges from 12.6-13.4 in (32-34 cm). They have a wingspan ranging from 24.8-27.1 in (63-69 cm). The wingspan of the feral pigeon is almost similar at 24.8-27.5 in (63-70 cm).

How fast can a stock dove fly?

Their speed is not known. The birds are sedentary and rarely move. They are seen very seldom in flight.

How much does a stock dove weigh?

The weight of stock doves ranges from 0.55-0.77 lb (250-350 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females are not given different names.

What would you call a baby stock dove?

The babies are called chicks.

What do they eat?

Stock doves are also seen feeding on insects like ants and worms. They even eat snails occasionally.

However, the main food of the stock doves includes young shoots of plants, grains, and different kinds of seeds. Depending on a different population, they are sometimes seen feeding on pine seeds and acorns too. Other food items that they are normally seen feeding on are bay and hawthorn, figs, cereal grains, beans, peas, and small invertebrates.

Are they dangerous?

They are not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Due to their restricted habitat, they are not considered pets.

Did you know...

The name stock dove is given to the bird species because of the English word 'stocc' which means a tree trunk. The rough meaning of the name is 'the birds that nest in the tree hollows of the wild'.

The males of the species have distinctive display flight. It is shown by slow and deep wing beats. The wings clap over the dove's back.

They are common in the UK.

Are stock doves rare in the UK?

The distribution of the stock doves in the UK is all throughout the year. This species is not migratory and rarely moves far from its wild habitat.

They are not found in highland areas of Wales, Northern Ireland, and Northern Scotland. They visit local parks and woodlands in the breeding season. In winters, they are found in farmlands in search of seeds.

What does the stock dove do?

They are quite shy and do not visit urban gardens much. However, they do visit rural gardens and farmlands foraging for food.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including mountain chickadee facts or Nicobar pigeon facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable stock dove coloring pages.

europe central asia northwest africa; palearctic

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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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