Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Stock Dove (Columba oenas)


French: Pigeon colombin German: Hohltaube Spanish: Paloma zurita
Other common names: Stock Pigeon

Columba Oenas


, 1758,



Closely related to C. eversmanni and C. oliviae. Proposed race hyrcana (N Iran) included in oenas, and tianshanica (Tien Shan) in yarkandensis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. o. oenas Linnaeus, 1758 – British Is N to S Scandinavia and Finland, S to Portugal and NW Africa, and E through Caucasus and N Iran to NE Kazakhstan (Semey) and SW Siberia.
  • C. o. yarkandensis Buturlin, 1908 – E Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan E through Tien Shan and Tarim Basin to Lop Nur (E Xinjiang).
  • Descriptive notes

    32–34 cm; male 303–365 g, female 286–290 g. General colour blue-grey; primaries and secondaries with black tips, conspicuous in flight; two short black bars... read more


    Not very vocal. In display, utters a series of 8–10 faint, short, monosyllabic cooing notes at a... read more


    Generally fairly open country; often in cultivation, and extending into open woodland; partial to... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly feeds on the ground, taking seeds, grain, green leaves, buds, flowers and some invertebrates; seeds taken include those of weeds... read more


    Mainly Apr–Oct. Prefers to nest in holes which may be in old trees, rock crevices, rabbit burrows or buildings. Where available, old... read more


    Northern populations, like those of Fenno-Scandia and E Europe, are almost all migratory. Mores... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common in parts of extensive range. The European population is estimated at 561,000–1,040,000 pairs, some 36% of them in Britain... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Stock Dove (Columba oenas). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 January 2020).