Rameron (African olive) pigeon

(Columba arquatrix)


Rameron (African olive) pigeon IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The Rameron is a large pigeon, about the size of a European wood pigeon. It reaches a total length of 40 cm and a body-weight of 300 to 350 g. Females are slightly smaller than males.

The plumage is predominantly dark grey with obvious white speckles on breast and wing-coverts. The females are a bit duller than the males.

The iris is pale yellow to light brown, the bare skin around the eye, cere, bill and legs are bright yellow, which is conspicuous and diagnostic even in flight.

Rameron pigeons form flocks and roost communally when not breeding, perching high in trees. Breeding season is from November to May. The nest is a platform of twigs placed in a tree on the edge of the forest. The female lays usually one egg, which is white and glossy and measures 39 x 29 mm. The egg is incubated by both parents for 16 days. The chick fledges at the age of 20 days.

Rameron pigeons feed on fruits of various trees, including Podocarpus, Prunus and Ficus species.

Did you know?
that the Rameron pigeon was first imported to Europe in 1864 when London Zoo received its first birds? London Zoo was also the first zoo to breed the species in 1912, followed by Berlin Zoo in 1913.


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Columba arquatrix
Name (English) Rameron (African olive) pigeon
Name (French) Pigeon arquatrix
Name (German) Oliventaube
Name (Spanish) Paloma de Ojos Amarillos
Local names Afrikaans: Geelbek-bosduif
isiZulu: iVugute
seSotho: le-Phepane
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Johann Grobbelaar



Range Subsaharan Africa: Angola, Burundi, Djibouti (vagrant), Congo DR, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe Arabian peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Yemen
Habitat Evergreen montane forests moving to lowland forests outside the breeding season.
Wild population No global data available
Zoo population 50 reported to ISIS (2008)

In the Zoo

Rameron (African olive) pigeon


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 15 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Johann Grobbelaar

Why do zoos keep this animal

The African olive pigeon is not a threatened species. Zoos keep it primarily for educational reasons, e.g. in the context of mixed African montane forest exhibits. It is, however, only rarely kept by zoos.