The breeding population of woodpigeon in Britain is reckoned to be over 8 million birds. Over the past forty years the population has been steadily increasing in Britain, primarily as a result of changes in farming practice, namely the wide-scale planting of winter oilseed rape. Rape is now the staple diet of the woodpigeon in the winter, but before it was so commonly grown large numbers of pigeons would perish in cold winters due to a lack of food availability.
Woodpigeons are generally a sedentary species, with a typical range of less than 20 kilometres. However, in parts of the country the resident population may be supplemented by birds from other areas moving in to take advantage of increased food availability. In the winter woodpigeons tend to gather into large flocks, these can number several thousand birds. It is important for pigeon shooters to be aware which crops the pigeons will be hitting in each month of the year, as this can save time when looking for birds. The great success of the woodpigeon in Britain is evidence of how adaptable the bird is, so although the list below is the primary crops that they will be feeding on, it is not an exhaustive list.
Crop Watch Calendar - Where to look for Pigeon Activity
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