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Birding Málaga


Common name Stock dove
Scientific name Columba oenas
Type Forest birds
Status Dispersive

Medium-sized bird (about 34 cm or 13.5 in) with a graceful appearance. Plumage of grey and blue tones in general, darker on the back and pale on the underparts. Pinkish tones on the breast that turn into a metallic greenish colour on the neck. The tail shows a dark band. In flight the contrast between the black flight feathers and the rest of the wings and the body stands out. The rump is paler than the rest of the plumage.


Woodland environment

Where it lives

Species linked to mixed environments in which there are farmlands, trees or forests with clearings, river courses and natural or artificial cavities to build the nests. Preference for groves with cereal crops nearby.

How it lives

Vagrant or dispersive bird in the province, without a fixed presence. Sedentary in its nesting area with individuals which occasionally disperse to Malaga. The northern populations are migratory. It breeds from February. Two annual layings of 1 to 2 eggs. Nests preferably in hollows of trees or rocky cliffs (also in holes in human constructions). It feeds on seeds and vegetable matter.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

In Malaga it is an irregular and very rare species. There have been isolated observations in the region of Antequera and the Serrania de Ronda during the breeding season, as well as isolated accounts of watchings during the autumn and winter in the interior of the province. There are breeding populations in the southern Sierra de Sevilla and the individuals observed may come from dispersive movements of specimens from these populations.

Curious facts

The Stock Dove is considered as the wild dove par excellence. In fact, its scientific name gives it the double degree of dove. "Columba" is a dove in Latin and "oenas" is derived from the Greek word meaning "dove". The sound that doves make when taking off is known in Spanish as "zureo". The Spanish common name of this dove, also called "zura", "zorita" or "zurana" in Spain, seems to come from the onomatopoeia of the "zur" or "zureo" that doves make when suddenly moving the wings.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration