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Wood pigeons in Ibiza and Formentera

27 February 2023

The wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) is a bird belonging to the Columbidae family. It is the largest of the pigeons present in Ibiza and Formentera, as well as throughout Europe. The wood pigeon measures between 38 and 44.5 cm in length, and weighs between 300 and 615 g.

paloma torcaz Ibiza y Formentera

As with other species belonging to the Columbidae family, the wood pigeon is an intelligent and trusting bird, which makes them able to forage in human environments with relative ease. This can have devastating consequences for agriculture if control is not established over the wood pigeon population affecting the farming area in question. Falconry is a method of biological control using falcons and eagles. And it has proven to be an effective method for the control of wood pigeons.

Migratory process of wood pigeons.

The wood pigeon is a migratory species, and it is estimated that around 2-3 million birds cross the Pyrenees each year to spend the winter in areas of Andalusia or Portugal. Historically, in the winter months they used to be absent in Ibiza and Formentera. But the change in climatic conditions due to climate change, together with the exponential increase in the number of individuals that the species has been experiencing in recent years, is causing this trend to change, causing some individuals to stop migrating during the winter months. However, it is still during the summer months when we will find the largest number of wood pigeons in Ibiza and Formentera.

This tendency to "sedentarism" is a feature that is also being observed in other parts of Europe, such as France, thanks to the existence of milder winters and intensive winter crops.

Habits and habits of the woodpigeon (Columba palumbus).

As we have already seen, they have a diet that can seriously affect agriculture. Wood pigeons feed on seeds, fruits (such as peaches, figs...), tree shoots and a wide variety of crop plants. However, it is an omnivorous species, and as such, it also feeds on larvae, earthworms and other insects.

Palomas torcaces cultivos Ibiza

cetrería palomas torcaces Ibiza y Formentera

control de palomas torcaces pitiusas

The nesting places of the woodpigeon are trees and bushes. The Mediterranean forest and undergrowth so characteristic that we have in Ibiza and Formentera, and whose beauty and charm is impossible to get tired of, is ideal for this species. Anyone who has lost his way walking through the characteristic forest of Ibiza or Formentera, will have made more than one group of wood pigeons take flight during the course of his route.

cetrería eivissa

The wood pigeon lay one or two eggs per year, which can be from March to September. The clutches usually consist of 2 eggs, which are completely white in color. Woodpigeon chicks are fed by the parents until they are 33-34 days old, when they begin to fly.

Control of wood pigeons in Ibiza and Formentera.

In Nova Falcons, we have a team of technicians and raptors properly prepared to carry out control of wood pigeons. Currently, our hawks, eagles and falconers are in charge of the Fauna Control Service at Ibiza Airport, where of course, we also have to control the constant attempts to access or cross the airfield by flocks of wood pigeons that come to the cultivation areas located around the salt flats.

Halcón paloma torcaz Ibiza control de plagas

Falconry, as mentioned above, is an ecological wildlife control system with no side effects on non-target species. It is based on the biological control of the target species, through the use of its natural predator: birds of prey.

It does not generate residues or any type of impact on the environment in which it is working. Nor does it affect other species other than the target species.

 

Text and photographs: own elaboration.

To learn more:

- Paloma torcaz.
- Afección de cultivos en las Pitiusas por torcaces.
- Espectaculo migración palomas torcaces.
- Rutas migratorias  de la paloma torcaz.
- Migración de las palomas torcaces.
- Paloma torcaz (fotos).

About Nova Falcons:

Nova Falcons is a company specializing in wildlife control and environmental services.

-Controls on birds, mammals y reptiles.

-Wildlife surveys, censuses and monitoring.

-Survey and control of invasive and protected species.

-Environmental impact studies and environmental consultancy.

-Pest and microorganism control.

-Consult other services without obligation.

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If you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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+34 604 048 298

Wildlife control in Ibiza