The Sunday Quiz – Peerless Pigeons

Dear Readers, my quiz last week went so well that I thought I’d tax all of your brains some more! Let’s see how good we all are at identifying the various pigeon and dove species that you can find in the UK, not only by sight but also (gasp!) by sound. Several people seemed keen to learn a bit more about bird calls, so let’s start with these most familiar birds of all (at least in the UK). It’s true that we don’t have pigeons as splendid as the green ones that you can see in Asia, but to my eyes they all have a subtle beauty. So, without further ado, tell me what species of pigeon we’re looking at.





By Yuvalr - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


And now for the tricky bit. Below are the calls of the five species shown above. Can you match the call to the bird?

6. This is a very ardent individual, but which pigeon is it?

7. How about this little lot?

8. This is an amazing sound, but have you ever heard it?

9. And who is this?

10. And finally, who is this?

And what do you think are the similarities between the calls of all the pigeons? To me, the calls always sound a bit laboured, as if they’re an effort for the bird, and also a bit muffled, as if they’re being produced from deep inside the body, rather than the cleaner, higher notes of other birds. I wonder if it’s anything to do with the structure of pigeon species? I know that they are one of the few families of birds who can suck up water when they drink, rather than having to take a mouthful and then throw their heads back.

Answers tomorrow! Have fun!

6 thoughts on “The Sunday Quiz – Peerless Pigeons

  1. Anne

    Not being familiar with your pigeons and doves, I cannot play along. I didn’t know you had such a variety of them! Your photo number three is particularly lovely.

  2. Alittlebitoutoffocus

    I guess that they must have bigger lungs than most birds – especially with that very proud, puffed out chest. Or maybe it’s something to do with the deep sound carrying further in the woods, or perhaps just to be different from all those tweety or whistling bird calls!
    Anyway, to my answers (aka best guesses):
    1. Feral Pigeon
    2. Stock Dove
    3. Wood Pigeon
    4. Collared Dove
    5. Turtle Dove
    6. Stock Dove
    7. Feral Pigeons
    8. Turtle Dove
    9. Wood Pigeon
    10. Collared Dove
    🤞🤞 👨

  3. Andrea Stephenson

    1. Feral pigeon 2. Stock dove 3. Woodpigeon 4. stock dove 5. Turtle dove? I’ve never seen one in the flesh…6. Wood pigeon 7. Ferals 8. Since you ask if I’ve ever heard it and I haven’t, would this be a turtle dove? 9. Collared dove 10. Woodpigeon

    I thought I knew pigeons, now I’m not so sure!


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