African Green Pigeon

Treron calvus

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.


25 thoughts on “African Green Pigeon

      1. kim blades, writer

        They aren’t in suburban Durban and I don’t go further afield very much anymore to see them. It is nice to think that they are populating the coastal forests together with all the other birdlife, but as you say, their main enemy is habitat destruction.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    Sometimes I think that the ‘generic bird’ prototype is presented to various artists in some futuristic studio, and they are told, ‘Have fun! Paint them whatever colors you’d like – the more bizarre the better!’ Then when painting, one artists leans toward another and asks, ‘May I use a bit of that color you just mixed?’ etc etc….

    Those bright legs/feet and those stark eyes! What a combo and crazy mix of features!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John

    Many beautiful photos you’ve taken on the bird, and they are really colorful. 🙂 You can see that it is related to our pigeons we have here in Sweden, except that our pigeons are not colorful at all, except those who breed them.



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