Irish Name: Colm coille
Scientific name: Columba palumbus
Bird Family: Pigeons & Doves
Conservation status


Resident, with birds joined by large numbers of immigrants from Britain and the continent in the winter. One of Ireland's top 20 most widespread garden birds.


The largest of the pigeons in Ireland with a proportionally long tail and small head. A full breast. Easily identified in flight by large white wing bands traversing the upper wing. White and green patches on the side of the neck. In the breeding season they are conspicuous in upward-soaring display flights which end in wing clapping.


Clattering wing noise on take off. The song consists of a hollow three noted cooing - "whooo who huhu".


Mainly plant material, green leaves, seeds, berries, buds, flowers and root crops.


A widespread breeder, found throughout Ireland, only in the higher hills and mountains are they absent. Originally a woodland bird, it is also found in parks and gardens, even in town centres where they have become quite tame. A very adaptable bird, it has been recorded breeding in heather and stunted bushes in the windswept west of the country.


The Irish population is boosted by wintering birds from Continental Europe. Flocks of several hundred to a thousand may gather in good feeding areas.

Monitored by

Countryside Bird Survey & Garden Bird Survey.

Similar Species

Rock Dove

Irish Name:
Colm aille
Scientific name:
Columba livia
Bird Family:
Pigeons & Doves

Stock Dove

Irish Name:
Colm gorm
Scientific name:
Columba oenas
Bird Family:
Pigeons & Doves