Biol. Stud. 2021; 15(2): 73–80 • DOI:

V. V. Novak



Background. Significant (over 20 %) forest cover of the region, a wide network of woodland belts, a high level of greening of villages and more than 200-year-old gardening traditions create favorable conditions for the existence of the Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) and its settlement. Despite a rather wide distribution of the species in the region, its biological characteristics and the process of synanthropization remain insufficiently studied.
Materials and Methods. The study was conducted during 2006–2020. Breeding Bird Survey routes without zone limitations and spot surveys were performed to assess the density of the species. Records of the location and height of the nest, its size, the presence of egg-laying or nestlings, the age of the nestlings and building material were made for each nesting site. The main part of the material on rural settlements was collected on the territory of monitoring sites “Chornyi Ostriv” and “Medzhibizh”, which cove­red 6 villages. Unpublished materials on the species in the region, collected by V. O. Novak in the period of 1990–2010, were also processed.
Results and Discussion. The Woodpigeon is a nesting migratory species in Upper Pobuzhia region. In recent decades, the region has seen a process of synanthropization of the species. The first cases of Woodpigeon nesting in the settlements of Upper Pobuzhia (west of Khmelnytskyi city) were discovered by V. I. Gulay in 1986–1990. In the region, woodpigeons first nested in villages (since 1986) and only then in the city of Khmelnytskyi (the first nest was found on 11.05.1994). Of the 390 registered nests, the share of identified nests (n = 390) in the settlements of Upper Pobuzhia was 50 % in the period of 1990–2000, 64 % in the period of 2001–2010, and 81 % in the period of 2010–2020. In the parks of Khmelnytskyi, the density of nesting in 2020 was 35 pairs/km2, while in the forests of the region – 4 pairs/km2. On some streets of Khmelnytskyi, the density of nesting species is even higher – 43 pairs/km2. In rural settlements, the Woodpigeon average density during the nesting period is 1.7 pairs/km2, although in some villages it can reach 11 pairs/km2. The birds use 33 species of trees and bushes and some structural elements of houses as support for the nest. In the process of synanthropization, the Woodpigeon has developed new adaptations in nesting and searching for food.
Conclusion. The process of synanthropization of the Woodpigeon in Upper Pobuzhia region has been taking place for the last 30 years. In its foraging behavior and tolerance to humans, it resembles a typical synanthropus – Feral Pigeon Columba livia, which indicates the successful synanthropization of the species.

Keywords: Woodpigeon, nesting, synanthropization, Upper Pobuzhia


Received 15 April, 2021  ●  Revision 26 April, 2021  ●  Accepted 02 June, 2021  ●  Published 30 June, 2021

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