Hunting birds - Wood Pigeon

The turtle dove (Columba oenas) is a bird of the Pigeon family, also found in Bulgaria. In plumage and size it is similar to the Rock Pigeon, but in darker tones and with weakly pronounced transverse wing stripes.


In the recent past, the pigeon was relatively widespread. But thanks to deforestation and the destruction of its natural habitat have caused a significant decline in the population. This could lead to it becoming an endangered species. It is distributed in all types of forests of Asia, Europe and North Africa. One of the reasons for the extinction of the species is its way of life. After raising a hatchling in a bush, it becomes unfit for life because it is heavily polluted.


Its food consists of grains, seeds, sprouts and fruits. And if it is near humans it feeds on scraps.


They are monogamous birds. The nest is located in a burrow of sufficient size to accommodate the bird, but need not be too large. Cover it with thin twigs, straw, dry leaves and form a relatively shallow nest. The male broods usually from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the female the rest of the time. She lays two white eggs. The chicks also look very similar, but those of the bush pigeon are always monotonously coloured dark grey. They hatch blind and covered with a sparse yellow down which falls off gradually. The chicks spend the first 8 days continuously warmed by their parents and are fed on so-called pigeon milk.

It is protected in our country. It is included in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria with the category "endangered species".