© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Kari Pihlaviita, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.
- Family: Pigeons – Columbidae
- Appearance: A smallish blue-grey dove with no white colouring on wings or neck.
- Size: Length 28–32 cm (11–12.5 in), wingspan 60–66 cm (23.5–28 in), weight 250–300 g (10–12 oz).
- Nest: In a hole in a tree or a nest-box, lined with straw, twigs and moss.
- Breeding: 2 eggs laid from early April, incubated by both parents for 16–18 days. Young birds able to fly within 28 days. May lay new clutches of eggs in the nest while previous brood of fledglings still present.
- Distribution: Scarce breeder in Southern and Central Finland. Feeds on fields and meadows, but nest may be located in forest far from feeding areas (due to a shortage of suitable nest holes). Finnish population estimated at 2,000–4,000 pairs. Numbers have declined.
- Migration: Migrates to W Europe Aug–Nov, returning with other early migrant species in March–April. May occasionally winter in Finland.
- Diet: Seeds of grasses and weeds, grain, berries, pulses.
- Calls: A rapid bi-syllabic cooing “huu-u huu-u…”.
Stock Doves are smaller and shorter-tailed than Woodpigeons, and have no white markings on their wings or necks. They are generally a dark blue-grey in colouring, with greenish metallic patches on the side of their necks, and a dark pinkish sheen on their throats and breasts. They also resemble Feral Pigeons that have similar plumage to their ancestral Rock Doves, but their underwings are always grey, and they lack the white rump and continuous double wing stripes of Feral Pigeons.
Stock Doves’ legs are red (adults) or brownish (juveniles), and they have yellowish beaks with red bases, and brown irises.