Facts about this animal
The speckled or African rock pigeon is about the size of a feral pigeon. It reaches a total length of 33 cm and a body-weight of 315 to 390 g. Males are more powerfully built than females
The plumage is bluish grey on crown and neck, and cinnamon-brown on sides of neck, mantle and wing coverts. Feathers on neck and upper chest are tipped metallic and pale green. There are obvious white speckles on the wings, otherwise the plumage is various shades of grey.
The iris is yellowish-white, the bill blackish and the cere whitish. The bare skin around the eye, and the legs, are red, which is distinctive.
The speckled pigeon breeds all year round. The nest is a platform of twigs and roots. The female lays usually two eggs, which are white and glossy, and measuring 37 x 28 mm. The clutch is incubated by both parents for about 14-16 days. The chicks fledge at an age of about 25 days.
Speckled pigeons are usually seen in pairs but may congregate to large flocks of several hundreds when not breeding.
The speckled pigeon feeds largely on seeds and grain, including spiky seeds such as “duiweltjie doring” (Tribulus).
Did you know?
that in spite of its name "rock pigeon" this species does not need cliffs for nesting? It has become a very urban species nesting on houses, and may also nest in major forks of a tree or even in disued agricultural machinery.
|Name (Scientific)||Columba guinea|
|Name (English)||Speckled pigeon|
|Name (French)||Pigeon de Guinée|
|Name (Spanish)||Paloma de Guinea|
|Local names||Afrikaans: Bosduif
seSotho: le-Eba, le-Evarope
|CITES Status||Not listed|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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BS Thurner Hof
|Range||Subsaharan Africa: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo DR, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo; Uganda, Zimbabwe Arabian peninsula: Yemen (vagrant)|
|Habitat||A wide range of habitats including mountains, bushveld, agricultural land, subirbia and cities|
|Wild population||Unknow, but common throughout most of its range (2001) (Red List IUCN 2011)|
|Zoo population||469 reported to ISIS (2008)|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 15 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
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Why do zoos keep this animal
The speckled, or African rock, pigeon is not a threatened species. Zoos keep it primarily for educational reasons, e.g. in the context of mixed African savanna or mountain exhibits.