Do Wood Pigeons Migrate? Explained

Wood pigeons are considered partially migratory. They aren’t territorial enough to stay in one place for long. They migrate to different regions during winter because of the suitable climate, food, and resources.

Well, let’s get to know about it in detail.

Do Wood Pigeons Migrate

Where Do Wood Pigeons Go in the Winter?

Wood pigeons are quite adaptable to various terrains. However, you won’t find them often during the winter season. The factor of weather change might trigger their migration.

A pigeon is sitting on snow

For instance, the Scandinavian wood pigeons migration pattern varies from Britain to France to Spain during the autumnal period. They usually travel to warmer regions from their territory in search of food grains and suitable weather.

On the other hand, pigeons from Southern and temperate regions of Europe don’t tend to migrate much.

Whereas Continental and Northern wood pigeons migrate for warmer weather towards areas like the Middle East, Turkey, Northern Mediterranean shores, the Atlantic Coast of Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, etc. Let’s get to know about it in detail.

A wood pigeon in winter

Do Wood Pigeons Have a Territory?

Wood pigeons usually don’t have much territorial behavior. As a species, they contain adaptive and well-established territorial characteristics. During the reproductive period, the male pigeon acquires a territory for nesting activity.

Pigeons proclaim their territory with a variant ‘coo’ sound as an advertisement call. Usually, the nesting activity of pigeons starts from late August to early September. So, they tend to stay in their territory during their breeding period.

Afterward, they seek food and shift to another place. So, usually, male pigeons are considered fierce territory during the breeding period in the winter season.

Do Wood Pigeons Come Back to the Same Place?

Yes, pigeons usually return to their breeding sites every spring season. After the nesting activity, they tend to leave their territory to seek food and grains. But there are differences between migrating pigeons.

For instance, pigeons in Ireland and Britain tend not to migrate. In contrast, pigeons from other European countries migrate yearly to their breeding place.

How far can a wood pigeon travel and return home?

Wood pigeons are known to travel back to their home more than 1100 miles (1600+ km) away. They can fly at 50 mph, increasing to 90 mph. In a single day, a wood pigeon can fly a phenomenal distance.

What Is the Lifespan of a Wood Pigeon?

The life expectancy level of a wood pigeon is around three years. However, many of the pigeons may live up to 6 years. The current longevity record of wood pigeons is 17 years and 9 months.

Usually, the mortality rate remains high during the first year of their living. Approximately 52% of the pigeons die. Nevertheless, even after high mortality and a short lifespan, wood pigeons sustain higher quantities because of their all-year breeding capability.


Well, now you know the wood pigeons’ characteristics and migration behavior during winter. After exploring different regions during migration, they tend to return to their breeding territory.

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