The African Olive-Pigeon, previously known as the Rameron Pigeon, is a large, dark dove inhabiting forests, woodlands and plantations, moving around locally to wherever fruit trees are bearing. Apart from fruits and berries they’ll also consume insects encountered while foraging. Adults measure about 40cm in length and weigh around 400g.
African Olive-Pigeons are mostly found in flocks numbering between 5 and 70, though larger aggregations in the 1000’s may come together in prime feeding areas. Pairs are monogamous and probably territorial to some extent while nesting. They breed throughout the year. Clutches of one or two eggs are incubated for a period of about 3 weeks in large stick nests built high up in dense trees, with the chicks fledging about the same length of time after hatching.
The IUCN lists the African Olive-pigeon as being of least concern. Its range extends from Eritrea southwards to South Africa, though its specific habitat requirements means that it is rather patchily distributed throughout. Here in our country they’re found mainly along the southern and eastern coasts and adjacent interior, and in the temperate forests found along the escarpment. It is only in recent years that they seem to have moved into the urban “forests”of Gauteng province’s big cities boasting with well-planted gardens and parks suitable to their needs.