You’d be forgiven for confusing the African Green Pigeon with a parrot at first glance, especially if you glimpse these colourful birds clambering among the branches or hanging upside down in the canopies of tall trees, foraging for fruit and seeds! African Green Pigeons inhabit forests, woodland, dense savannas (usually along river courses) and well-planted parks and gardens populated by various fruiting trees, showing a special fondness for wild figs (genus Ficus) and jackalberry (Diospyros). Adult African Green Pigeons are between 25 and 29cm long and weigh between 210 and 250g.
African Green Pigeon females build flimsy nests (of twigs and leaves gathered by the male) in the forks of trees at any time of year (with a peak in early summer in South Africa), the female incubating the small clutch (usually only 1 or 2 eggs) for around two weeks. The young pigeons leave the nest around two weeks after hatching. They are gregarious, and occur in small groups or flocks numbering up to 50 or more.
In South Africa, African Green Pigeons are common along the coast in the Eastern Cape, through much of Kwazulu-Natal, and into the bushveld and lowveld regions of Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng. North of our borders this species occurs widely over tropical Africa south of the Sahara. The IUCN considers them to be of least concern, though noting that loss of habitat and hunting is causing their overall population to decline.