Wood Pigeons breed throughout Europe except in the most northerly parts of Fenno-Scandia and Russia. About a quarter of the European population of up to 12 million pairs is found in Britain. Outside of Europe the species has a limited range in the Azores, northwest Africa, Turkey and parts of the Middle East and Central Asia. All populations, except those in north Africa and the westernmost parts of Europe, migrate to the southwestern and southern parts of the range in winter.
    In Great Britain, Wood Pigeons are found almost everywhere except in some of the northern and western islands and the higher montane zones of Scotland. The population is densest in the southern two-thirds of England, including Wiltshire, where the species was recorded in all but three of the 915 tetrads in the county in Birds of Wiltshire, and in every one of the 915 in WTA2. As well as being one of the most widespread species in the county Wood Pigeons were recorded in Birds of Wiltshire as the second most numerous both in summer (behind Rooks) and in winter (behind Starlings).
    The appearance of large flocks, often numbering several thousand, in winter has given rise to a suspicion that influxes from mainland Europe may be occurring though the evidence (for example from ringing) does not support this. The large winter flocks are more likely to be pre-roosting gatherings from surrounding areas.

The following references are used throughout these species accounts, in the abbreviated form given in quotation marks:
1968-72 Breeding Atlas” – Sharrack, J.T.R. 1976:  The Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland. T. & A. Poyser
1981-84 Winter Atlas” – Lack, P.C. 1986:  The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland. T. & A. Poyser
“1988-91 Breeding Atlas” – Gibbons, D.W., Reid, J.B. & Chapman, R.A. 1993: The New Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland 1988-91. T. & A. Poyser
Birds of Wiltshire” – Ferguson-Lees, I.J. et al. 2007 : Birds of Wiltshire, published by the tetrad atlas group of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society after mapping fieldwork 1995-2000. Wiltshire Ornithological Society.
“Bird Atlas 2007-2011” – Balmer, D.E., Gillings, S., Caffrey, B.J., Swann, R.L., Downie, I.S. and Fuller, R.J. 2013: Bird Atlas 2007-2011: the Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland
WTA2” – ("Wiltshire Tetrad Atlas 2 ") the present electronic publication, bringing together the Wiltshire data from “Birds of Wiltshire” and “Bird Atlas 2007-11”, together with data from further fieldwork carried out in 2011 and 2012.
"Hobby" - the annual bird report of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society.