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2011-12-11
Aves Bird of the week - Speckled Pigeon


The Speckled Pigeon - Columba guinea - is a resident breeding bird in much of Sub Saharan Africa. It is a common and widespread species in open habitats over a good deal of its range. This bird occurs from Senegal to Ethiopia south to Tanzania, with a separate population in south-western Angola and southern Africa. The Speckled Pigeon is frequently seen around human habitation and cultivation. Its flight is quick, with the regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings which are characteristic of pigeons in general.

Description

This is a large pigeon with rufous back and wings, the latter heavily speckled with white spots. The rest of the upperparts and underparts are blue-grey, and the head is grey with red patches around the eye. The neck is brownish, streaked with white, and the legs are red. Sexes are similar, but immatures are browner than adults.

Call

The call is a loud doo-doo-doo, which may be repeated up to twenty times.

Food

It feeds mostly on seeds, rarely eating small fruits and flowers. It typically forages on the ground, usually on farmland, lawns or roads.

Breeding

This species builds a large stick nest. The nest is usually placed on ledges, gullies or buildings, and is built by the female, with the male collecting the material. It lays 1 to 3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes. The chicks are brooded for the first 6 days of their lives, after which brooding ceases. The nestling period is between 21 and 37 days.

Conservation Status – Least Concern

Not threatened, in fact, common across southern Africa. It has adapted very well to living with humans.

 

Birdwatching

It usually lives in rocky, mountainous areas, but can also be found in buildings and gardens.

This striking Pigeons can be seen on the following Aves Birding Tours/Safaris/Adventures: -

Aves Arid Birding Tour/Safari/Adventure.

Aves Eastern Cape Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves Highlands / Tembe Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves KZN Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North East Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North West Birding Tour / Safari Adventure.

Aves Western Cape Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves West Coast Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

 

 


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