Tag Archives: Speckled Pigeon

Speckled Pigeon

Columba guinea

Originally an inhabitant of mountains, gorges, cliffs and rocky outcrops and ridges from which it set out to forage in adjacent flatlands, the Specked Pigeon (or African Rock Pigeon) has now also adapted very well to human habitations and exotic plantations, which aided the species to expand both its range and population. They feed primarily on seeds, and can become a serious pest to grain farmers. These are rather large pigeons, with adults weighing as much as 400g.

Speckled Pigeons breed throughout the year, with a peak in the spring and summer months. Nests are built of sticks and other plant material on inaccessible crags and caves on cliffs or ledges on buildings. Clutches usually consist of 2 (1-3) eggs and are incubated by both parents for 2 weeks. Chicks can stay in the nest for as long as 5 weeks.

Speckled Pigeons occur in two distinct parts of Africa: The first stretches in a wide band from east to west Africa, with the other in southern Africa. They can commonly be found in suitable habitat all over South Africa. It is considered to be of least concern by the IUCN. Unfortunately they do sometimes hybridize with feral populations of the exotic Eurasian Rock Dove (C. livia) in our towns and cities.