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; moving... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Still locally fairly common in parts of extensive range; European population estimated at minimum of c. 460,000 pairs. Population expansions have... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2018). 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 18 July 2018).