Stock Dove – 2003-07 breeding

Columba oenas – COLOMEN WYLLT – Breeding resident

Map produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre

Comparison with previous atlas:

Breeding confirmed2511
Breeding probable4549
Breeding possible8738
No of tetrads occupied157 (of 478)98 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads32.9%20%

The Stock Dove population of the UK was considered to be stable in the 1980’s, having recovered from a decline in the 1950’s and 1960’s caused by the effects of organo-chlorine seed dressings, used in arable farming, which were subsequently withdrawn. It is unlikely this had a big impact in Pembrokeshire which has long been dominated by pasture land. The chemicals did have an effect on Peregrines, the local population crashing in the 1950’s. Peregrines prey on many mobile birds, such as racing pigeons, which would have arrived in the county already affected, and the falcons being at the head of the food chain accumulated the chemicals with detrimental consequences. While the Peregrine population was low, Stock Doves expanded their range in the county, colonising the offshore islands from about 1975. However, as Peregrine numbers recovered, fewer Stock Doves nested on the islands and by the time of the 1984-88 survey had almost disappeared. They continued to nest on some of the mainland cliffs but the majority were thinly spread inland.

It was estimated that on average there were no more than two or three pairs per occupied tetrad, suggesting a county population of 300 – 500 pairs. The 2003-07 survey revealed a marked decrease in Stock Dove numbers, distribution contracting by 38%. This suggests that the Pembrokeshire breeding population lay in the range 180 -300 pairs by the end of 2007.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports, which may contain more detail than shown here.

More about the Stock Dove in Pembrokeshire