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Species Guide
A photo of a African Green Pigeon (Treron calvus)
African Green Pigeon

African Green Pigeon

Treron calvus

The African green pigeon, Treron calvus, is a charming bird with a predominantly grayish-green to yellowish-green plumage. Adults boast distinctive maroon patches atop their wings, while juveniles display a more olive hue. Their thighs are a striking yellow, and they have red feet and bills, the latter tipped with white, adding a dash of contrast to their colorful appearance.

Identification Tips

To identify the African green pigeon, look for its greenish plumage which blends seamlessly with the foliage. The maroon wing patches in adults are a key feature, along with their yellow thighs. The red bill with a white tip is also distinctive. Juveniles may be recognized by their more olive-toned feathers.


These pigeons are arboreal, favoring the canopies of riparian forests, woodlands, and savannas. They are particularly associated with fruiting trees, such as various wild fig species and the ornamental Chinese banyan, which provide their primary food source.


The African green pigeon has a wide range across Sub-Saharan Africa, with around 17 accepted races. Their distribution spans from Angola to South Africa and includes many countries in between, such as Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania.


These pigeons exhibit parrot-like climbing abilities, allowing them to deftly maneuver through tree canopies in search of fruit. While they primarily forage above ground, they may occasionally descend to the ground. Their diet includes fruits from trees like the Saffron, Jacket plum, Buffalo thorn, Water berry, and Jackalberry, and they may also consume exotic fruits like Loquats and Mulberries or even carrion on rare occasions.

Song & Calls

The call of the African green pigeon is a melodious series of flowing whistles, which can be phonetically rendered as 'thweeeloo, thweeeoo,' adding a musical backdrop to their habitat.


Breeding can occur at any time of the year, though it is most common in the summer months. Nests are constructed in tree forks, providing a good view of the surroundings. The male collects sticks while the female arranges them into a rather flimsy platform. Typically, 1-2 eggs are laid, hatching after 13-14 days, with chicks fledging at about 12 days of age.

Similar Species

While there are other green pigeon species within the Afrotropics, the African green pigeon can be distinguished by its unique coloration and the specific maroon patches on the wings of adults.

Diet and Feeding

The African green pigeon's diet consists mainly of fruits from various indigenous and exotic trees. They have adapted to a life in the trees, rarely needing to forage on the ground.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List currently classifies the African green pigeon as Least Concern, indicating that, at present, the species does not face any significant threats that would warrant concern for its overall population.

African Green Pigeon Sounds

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