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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Columba (pigeons)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora >Aves (birds) > Order: Columbiformes > Family: Columbidae

Species indigenous to southern Africa

(* = naturalised)

Columba arquatrix (African olive-pigeon, Rameron pigeon) 

The African olive pigeon is found mainly in South Africa, with a small population on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It lives mainly in indigenous forests, as well as suburban gardens and parks, where it can be found in fruit trees or bushes, its main source of food. The female builds the nest, with the male collecting the material, and putting it on the female's back, who then puts it underneath her body. It lays 1-2 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes, changing shifts in the early morning and late afternoon. The chicks are fed by both parents, and leave the nest after 19-20 days.

Columba delegorguei (Eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Delegorgue's pigeon) 

Columba guinea (Speckled pigeon, Rock pigeon) 

The Speckled pigeon is common in many places in southern Africa, especially in South Africa. It usually lives in rocky, mountainous areas, but can also be found in buildings and gardens. It feeds mostly on seeds, rarely eating small fruits and flowers. The nest is usually placed on ledges, gullies or buildings, and is built by the female, with the male collecting the material. It lays 1-3 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 highly variable with different regions, full range 21-37 days.

* Columba livia (Rock dove, Feral Pigeon) 

The Rock dove is originally native to SE Europe, SW Asia, India, Arabia, N Africa and British Isles but is now common in many southern African cities, as well as other cities around the world. It has been selectively bred into a wide variety of colours, such as a mix of white, grey and fluorescent green. It feeds mainly on seeds, other plant matter and discarded food left by humans. Both sexes build the nest, which usually placed in buildings and bridges. It lays 1-2 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes, for 16-19 days. In Europe, the chicks stay in the nest for 35-37 days, before fledging, at which point they become fully independent.