Living environment and biology of the species
The Common Wood Pigeon is widespread in all wooded regions, especially at the edge of oak forests. It can also be found in large city parks and other man-made areas. It is found from the lowlands to the lower forest line, at altitudes between 900 and 1 600 m, where there are isolated trees, forest patches or thinned forests bordering open areas or agricultural crops. In winter it flocks, sometimes forming mixed flocks with the Barn Pigeon, in extensive agricultural areas of the lowlands, especially in the Bărăgan.
The food is exclusively vegetable, consisting of cereal seeds, the fruit of forest species such as palms, beech and oak, as well as seeds of conifers and various legumes. It forages on the ground covered with vegetation, but unlike other pigeon species, the collared pigeon also forages in trees, from which it plucks buds, flowers, green leaves, fruit and seeds. Rarely, it also eats various insects such as butterflies, caterpillars, turtle lice and other invertebrates such as earthworms and some species of snails. They sometimes ingest soil granules and snail shells to replenish their mineral requirements.
Sexual maturity is reached after one year. The pair is monogamous during a breeding season. In migrating populations the couple may be long-lived. Males usually choose their territories as early as autumn, and in March-April they begin to mark their territories with characteristic calls and nuptial flights. Rarely, more than one nest is found on a tree. The nest is usually located in the territory chosen by a pair, preferably on coniferous, ivy or very twiggy trees. Sometimes the collared pigeon uses the nests of other bird species as a support for its own nest, with a few twigs, roots and other plant material. Males suggest nest sites, but it is the female that chooses the final nest site. The male provides the materials needed to build the nest, which he then hands over to the female. The female lays 2 white eggs. The partners take turns hatching for 15-17 days. At first the young are fed by both parents with a substance secreted by the goose, called “pigeon milk”, then with various insects and only later can they eat buds and young leaves. After about 5 weeks, the chicks become able to fly. In one year, the collared dove can lay 2-3 eggs, until September.