DOVEs and PIGEONs of AFRICA

The Columbiformes order contains just one family, the Columbidae which is comprised of dove and pigeon species. They have small heads,short legs, and four unwebbed toes. All Columbiformes are monogamous. Unlike most other birds they are capable of drinking by sucking up water, without needing to tilt the head back.

Order Columbiformes    Family Columbidae


Genus Alectroenas
The Blue-Pigeons occur widely the islands of the western Indian Ocean. Compared to other pigeons, they are medium to large sized. They appear to be closest related to the Fruit Doves.

Pigeon, Madagascar Blue-  Alectroenas madagascariensis  Found: Madagascar
Image by: 1) Niel Strickland  2) foto lulu  3) Jon Irvine



Genus Columba
The "typical" pigeons. Predominately found in Old World.

Dove, Lemon  also  Cinnamon Dove    Columba larvata  also Aplopelia larvata  Found: Africa
The male Lemon Dove has dark brown upperparts;  green on side of neck; white forehead, chin; black bill; red iris, feet. Female has lighter brown upperparts; dull gray forehead, chin.
Image by: 1, 2) DIck Daniels - Birds of Eden, South Africa   3) Authur Chapman - Birds of Eden
1, 2) Male


Dove, Rock also Rock Pigeon also Feral Pigeon Columba livia  Found: almost everywhere
The wild Rock Dove has pale gray plumage; 2 black wing bars. This species includes the domestic pigeon and escaped domestic pigeons have given rise to feral populations around the world.
Image by: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) Dick Daniels   2) Dick - North Carolina
1) This rock dove was Image on the cliffs of John O'Groats Scotland. The cliff residents, now scarce, are the ancestors of all domestic/feral pidgeons.  2) Feral Pigeon similar to wild rock dove.

The following subspecies are: Checkered, Pied

dark, white, white-breasted 
4) Madagascar


Pigeon, Rameron  also African Olive Pigeon  Columba arquatrix  Found: Africa
The Rameron Pigeon has maroon back, wings; shoulders heavily speckled with white spots; maroon underparts with white spots; gray head; dark gray under-wings, under-tails; yellow patches around eyes; yellow bill. feet.
Image by: 1) Matthew Hine  2, 4) Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo  3) Sandy Cole - San Diego Zoo


Pigeon, Speckled also African Rock Dove  Columba guinea   Found: Africa
The Speckled Pigeon has rufous back; rufous wings with white speckles; blue-gray remainder of upperparts; blue-gray underparts; gray head with red patch around eye; brownish neck with light colored streaks; red legs.
Image by: 1, 3) Kjeuring - Table Mountain Cape Town   2, 4, 5) Dick Daniels - Cape Town, South Africa  6) Cristiano Crolle - Cape Town, South Africa.



Genus Nesoenas
The Pink Pigeon and Madagascar Turtle-Dove and appear to be closely related. They seem to have split from their relatives in Columba and Streptopelia about 10 million years ago. Some thus place them in their on genus - Nesoenas. Other place them in Columba or Streptopelia.

Dove, Madagascar Turtle-  also  Malagasy Turtle-Dove   Nesoenas picturata  Found: Madagascar and nearby islands
Image by: 1) Marion Schneider and Christoph Aistleitner - Seychelles  2) Roland ZH 
   3, 4) Dick Daniels - Parc Tsarasaotra (open bird sanctury in Antananrivo)


Pigeon, Pink  Nesoenas mayeri  Found: Mauritius
The Pink Pigeon has pink head, shoulders, underparts, bill, feet; dark brown wings; broad reddish-brown tail; dark brown eyes; red eye-ring.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo



Genus Oena - 1 species

Dove, Namaqua  Oena capensis  Found: Africa
The Namaqua Dove has gray upperparts; chestnut primary feathers; white belly. Male has black face, throat, breast; yellow and red bill. Female lacks the black and has gray bill with red base.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - Madagascar  4) Ruby 1x2
1) Female  2, 3, 4) Male



Genus Streptopelia
These are mainly slim, small to medium-sized species. The upperparts tend to be pale brown, and the underparts are often a shade of pink. Many have a characteristic black-and-white patch on the neck, and monotonous cooing songs.

Dove, Dusky Turtle-  Streptopelia lugens  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Tom Tarrant - Uganda
1) Bare area around eye is not realistic.


Dove, European Turtle-  also Turtle Dove  Streptopelia turtur  Found: Europe, Africa
The European Turtle-Dove has black-and-white striped neck patch; brown mottled back, wings; light throat; pinkish breast; white belly; pale gray flanks.
Image by: 1, 2) Miguel Gonzlez Novo  3) Skolan 124


Dove, Mourning Collared- also African Mourning Dove  Streptopelia decipiens   Found: Africa
The Mourning Collared-Dove has pale brown back, wings, tail; gray head; pink breast shading to pale gray on belly; black hind neck patch edged with white; red legs.
Image by: 1) Christophe Eyquem - Samburu, Kenya  2) Lip Kee Yap - Dove,_African_Mourning  3) Carol Foil - Lake Nakuru National Park


Dove, Laughing Streptopelia senegalensis      Found: Africa, Australia, India
The Laughing Dove has brownish upperpart with a bluish-gray band along the wing; pinkish head, underparts; checkered rufous-gray patch on side of neck.
Image by: 1) Sandeep Thoppil - Gaborone Game Reserve, Botswana   2) J M Garg   3) Frank Vassen  4) Arthur Chapman
    5) Dick Daniels - Tanzania   6, 7) Dick - South Africa  8) Sandy Cole - San Diego Zoo


Dove, Red-eyed Streptopelia semitorquata   Found: Africa
The Red-eye Dove has pale brown upperparts; pink head with gray face; pink underparts; black hind neck patch edged with white; red eyes, legs.
Image by:  1, 2) Dick Daniels - Cape Town, South Africa 


Dove, Ring-necked also Cape Turtle Dove Streptopelia capicola   Found: Africa
The Ring-necked Dove has pale brownish-gray plumage with darker back and wings; partial black collar at back of neck.
Image by: 1) Arno Meintjes   2) Erik A Drablos - Masai Mara, Kenya  3, 4) Dick Daniels- Johannesburg, South Africa



Genus Treron
Green pigeons are distributed across Asia and Africa. Their green coloration comes from a carotenoid pigment in their diet. They eat fruit, nuts, and/or seeds.

Pigeon, African Green-  Treron calvus  Found: Africa
The African Green-Pigeon has grayish-green to yellowish-green upperparts; maroon shoulder patches; grayish-green underparts; rufous undertail coverts; bill red at base, white at tip. Mainly eat fruit such as figs.
Image by: 1)
Arno Meintjes  2, 3) Dick Daniels - Kruger National Park, South Africa   4) Johann du Preez - Kruger National Park


Pigeon, Bruce's Green-  Treron waalia  Found: Africa
The Bruce's Green-Pigeon has olive-green upperparts; darker wings; greenish-gray head, neck, upper-breast; yellow lower-breast and belly. It specialises on eating the fruits of a single species of fig tree, Ficus platphylla.
Image by: 1, 2) Trisha Shears - Cincinnati Zoo


Pigeon, Madagascar Green
- Treron australis  Found: Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte
Image by: 1) Frank Vassen  2) Paul Ellis - Madagascar



Genus Turtur
Found: Africa

Dove, Blue-spotted Wood- Turtur afer  Found: Africa
The Blue-spotted Wood-Dove has brown upperparts; blue spots on wings; bluish-gray forehead, crown, nape; pink chin, upper-breast;; lighter belly; dark bill with yellow tip.
Similar to: Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove. Blue-spotted Wood-Dove has yellow tipped bill; Emerald-spotted Wood-dove has dark bill with no yellow tip. Emerald-spotted prefers more humid habit.
Image by: 1) Joseph Mochoge - Kenya  2) Thomas Brown - Gambia  3) Allan Hopkins - Gambia


Dove, Emerald-spotted Wood-  Turtur chalcospilos  Found: Africa
The Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove has gray-brown hind-neck, mantle, wings, tail; bluish-gray forehead, crown, nape; blackish bands on lower back; purplish-pink underparts; lighter belly; dark bill with red base.
Similar to: Blue-spotted Wood-Dove. Blue-spotted Wood-Dove has yellow tipped bill; Emerald-spotted Wood-dove has dark bill with no yellow tip. Emerald-spotted prefers more humid habit.
Image by: 1) Arno Meintjes  2) Carol Foil - Kenya  3) Jerry Oldenettle - Botswana    4) Charlie Westerinen - Botswana  5, 6) Dick Daniels - Nairobi National Park, Kenya



Dove, Tambourine   Turtur tympanistria    Found: Africa (south of Sahara)
The male Tambourine Dove has grayish-brown upperparts; bray crown; white face, forehead, underparts; purple-red eye-ring, feet; purple bill. Female duller; white only on belly; pale gray-brown breast, face.
Image by: 1) Dave Curtis - Kenya  2) Joseph Mochoge - Eburu Kenya  3) Alan Manson - South Africa
1) Female   2, 3) Male







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