Monday, 16 April 2012

Are Wood Pigeons migratory?

Apparently not............

I was intrigued by the record of a Wood Pigeon and Collared Dove on Tory Island recently and decided to check there migratory habits in the BTO Migration Atlas.

Wood Pigeon

The BTO Migration Atlas suggests that the species is sedentary although juveniles tend to move further than adults. Although there is apparent visable migration on the east coast of England ringing recoveries would suggest that only a small number of birds actually emigrate and there are few immigrants from continental Europe.
The maps on the atlas would also suggest there are 5 recoveries of birds ringed in Britain and recovered on the island of Ireland, including one ringed on the Isle of Man and recovered in County Down.

Collared Dove

Collared Dove which originally colonised Britain and Ireland in the late 50’s and 60’s show a much greater willingness to move around than Wood Pigeon. There are about a dozen records of  Collared Doves ringed in Britain and recovered in Ireland and one ringed in  continental Europe and recovered in Ireland.
Collared Dove dispersal distance has decreased since the 1970’s, indicating the population is becoming more sedentary.

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