The Common Wood Pigeon is the largest European pigeon and easily distinguishes itself from the domestic pigeon by white spots on the neck and wings. In Portugal, resident populations occur throughout the country, but it is mainly during the cold season that the wood pigeons are locally numerous, occurring sometimes in groups of thousands of birds as happens in the Sado estuary.
The scientific name of the Wood Pigeon – columba palumbus – was assigned by Linnaeus in 1758, a name which still remains. Columba is the Latin term for pigeon and palumbus is a synonym and the specific epithet of the species.
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