Breeding biology of the Woodpigeon in conditions of city (by the example of Kaliningrad). - E.L. Lykov. - Berkut. 18 (1-2). 2009. - P. 54-68.
The Woodpigeon has adapted to human activities by colonizing cities. Built-up areas of Kaliningrad region are the only place in the territory of Russia where stable synanthropic population of Woodpigeon has been formed. The central part of Kaliningrad was colonized by the species in early 1990s. The Woodpigeon nests in deciduous and coniferous forests, parks, forest parks, cemeteries, public garden, kitchen gardens, meadows with groups of trees and shrub, residential villa districts with gardens, greened city quarters, streets including the central part of the city. It uses 46 species of trees and shrub as a place for nest. In different habitats the Woodpigeon usually locates its nests on the definite species of trees. In general it prefers to locate its nests on the Blue Spruce, Cherry Plum, Common Hawthorn and Small-leaved lime. In two cases the Woodpigeon tried to nest on the buildings in the central part of the city. The nests were located at the height of 1,25–14 m above ground surface (4,50 ± 0,08 on average; CV=41,9%; n = 493). Most nests were located on the height from 2 to 6 m. In some cases the building material of Woodpigeon nests includes materials of artificial origin. Intensive nests construction starts in early April. Eggs in different nests appear for fifteen weeks of breeding season (from 1st decade April to 2nd decade July). The general period of eggs lying is taking place from 1st decade April to 2nd decade May. For recent years start timing of Woodpigeon breeding shifted to more earlier time. The number of eggs in full clutch is from 1 to 2 (1,94 ± 0,02 on average; CV=12,0%; n = 88). Eggs size – 36,3–46,8 х 26,7–31,1 mm (40,54 ± 0,19 х 29,10 ± 0,09 on average; n = 109), index of sphericity – 62,61–79,34% (71,90 ± 0,30 on average), volume of eggs – 13,63–22,64 ml (17,55 ± 0,16 on average). Breeding success of Woodpigeon in Kaliningrad is 50,5%. It was concluded that the level of synanthropization of Woodpigeon in the territory of Kaliningrad is very high, the wide range of breeding habitats, higher density of urban population of Woodpigeon in contrast to natural one, the use of anthropogenic materials nests building, indifference to people, breeding in the centre of the city and wide distribution in the territory of the city suggests about this. [Russian].
Key words: Woodpigeon, Columba palumbus, ecology, breeding, nest, egg.
Address: E.L. Lykov, dep. of vertebrate zoology, biological faculty, Moscow university, Leninskiye gory, 119992, Moscow, Russia; e-mail: