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10 Intriguing Facts About the African Green-Pigeon

African Green-Pigeon is a beautiful bird species known for their striking green plumage and pink beaks. They are found in various parts of Africa and have a unique appearance, making them easy to identify.

In this article, we will explore the African Green-Pigeon in detail, including their identification, plumages, and molts.

Identification

Field Identification

The African Green-Pigeon is a medium-sized bird with a distinctive green plumage and pink beak. They measure around 29-30 cm in length with a weight of around 145 grams on average.

They have a short tail and are sexually dimorphic, meaning male and female have different physical characteristics. The males have a more vibrant green color and a pinkish tinge on their breast feathers, while the females have a duller green plumage with no pink coloration.

Young Green-Pigeons are similar to females and have a darker green color with no pink coloration.

Similar Species

African Green-Pigeons can be differentiated from other pigeon and dove species based on their unique green plumage and pink beak. However, they can sometimes be confused with the Speckled Pigeon, another pigeon species that has a similar size and shape.

The Speckled Pigeon can be distinguished from the African Green-Pigeon by its gray-brown plumage with distinctive white markings on its wings and neck.

Plumages

African Green-Pigeons have two distinctive plumages, breeding, and non-breeding. During the breeding season, males have a more vibrant green coloration with pinkish tinge on their breast feathers, whereas females have a duller green plumage with no pink coloration.

The non-breeding plumage of males is similar to the females, and they lose the pink coloration on their feathers.

Molts

Like most bird species, African Green-Pigeons undergo molts, which are the process of shedding old feathers and growing new ones. They have two molts in a year, the pre-breeding molt, and the post-breeding molt.

The pre-breeding molt occurs from December to January, and the post-breeding molt takes place from June to July. During the pre-breeding molt, Green-Pigeons grow new feathers in preparation for the breeding season, and during the post-breeding molt, they replace old feathers that have worn out.

Conclusion

In conclusion, African Green-Pigeons are a beautiful bird species that are unique in their appearance. They are characterized by their green plumage and pink beak, making them easy to identify in the field.

We have explored their identification, plumages, and molts in detail, providing readers with a better understanding of this amazing bird species. , as the article will be informative rather than persuasive.

Systematics History

The African Green-Pigeon belongs to the family Columbidae and the genus Treron. The taxonomy of African Green-Pigeons has undergone significant revisions over the years.

In the past, they were classified as a single species, but recent studies have shown that there are several subspecies present across their range.

Geographic Variation

African Green-Pigeons are found in various parts of Africa, including West, East and Southern Africa. Due to the extensive range of this bird species, they exhibit geographic variation in size, plumage, and behavior.

Subspecies

There are currently nine recognized subspecies of the African Green-Pigeon, with each subspecies varying in size, plumage, and range. The subspecies are as follows:

1.

Treron calvus calvus: This subspecies is found in Senegal and Gambia, and has a darker green plumage compared to other subspecies. 2.

Treron calvus sharpii: This subspecies is found in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast, and has a paler green upperpart with a greyish head. 3.

Treron calvus bannermani: This subspecies is found in Ghana, Togo, and Benin, and has a darker green plumage with streaks of yellow on the breast area. 4.

Treron calvus punctulatus: This subspecies is found in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Central African Republic, and has a brownish coloration on the back and wings with a dark green head and neck. 5.

Treron calvus persa: This subspecies is found in Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, and Kenya, and has a pale green plumage with a yellowish breast. 6.

Treron calvus delalandei: This subspecies is found in Angola, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, and has a bright green plumage with a pinkish-red neck. 7.

Treron calvus johnstonia: This subspecies is found in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia, and has a yellowish-green plumage with a lighter head. 8.

Treron calvus prayi: This subspecies is found in Madagascar and the Comoros Islands, and has a bright green plumage with a grey head. 9.

Treron calvus insularis: This subspecies is found in the Seychelles Islands, and has a brighter green plumage and a shorter tail than other subspecies.

Related Species

The African Green-Pigeon is closely related to other pigeon species found in Africa, including the Lemon Dove, which is commonly found in the Central Africa region and has a bright green coloration similar to the African Green-Pigeon. The African Green-Pigeon is also related to the Green-Breasted Mango, which is found in Central and Eastern Africa and is noted for its unique green plumage.

Historical Changes to Distribution

The distribution of African Green-Pigeons has undergone significant changes over the years due to habitat loss and other environmental factors. In the past, they were commonly found in forests and wooded areas throughout Africa.

With increasing human settlement and agriculture, their natural habitat has been reduced, leading to a decline in their numbers. In southern Africa, African Green-Pigeons were historically found in the western coastal region of South Africa, but their distribution has expanded eastward over the years.

They are now found in the Limpopo Province in South Africa and as far north as Zimbabwe and Mozambique. In East Africa, African Green-Pigeons have experienced a decline in population due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

They are still found in forests and woodlands, although their numbers have declined in some areas. In West Africa, African Green-Pigeons are generally found in the tallest trees of humid evergreen forests and wooded savannas.

The ongoing destruction of forests in this region is considered a significant threat to their continued survival.

Conclusion

The African Green-Pigeon is a beautiful bird species that exhibits significant geographic variation across its extensive range in Africa. With nine recognized subspecies, each with its unique plumage and behavior, African Green-Pigeons provide an interesting case study for ornithologists and bird enthusiasts.

The changes in their distribution over the years underscore the importance of conserving their natural habitats. , as the article will be informative rather than persuasive.

Habitat

The African Green-Pigeon is found in a variety of habitats throughout Africa, including forests, woodlands, and savannas. They prefer dense vegetation with tall trees and are commonly found in riverine forests, gallery forests, and coastal forests.

In southern Africa, they are also found in Fynbos habitats, a unique vegetation type found in the Western Cape. African Green-Pigeons are generally non-migratory and remain within their range throughout the year.

Movements and Migration

African Green-Pigeons are generally non-migratory but may undertake some seasonal movements within their range. These movements are typically associated with breeding and the search for food.

During the breeding season, African Green-Pigeons may move to new areas to establish territories and find mates. They may also move to areas with abundant food resources.

In some parts of Africa, African Green-Pigeons are known to stage communal roosts during the non-breeding season. These roosts can consist of hundreds or even thousands of birds and can be located in tall trees in or near their preferred habitats.

While African Green-Pigeons are generally non-migratory, there have been some anecdotal reports of movements across significant geographic distances. For example, researchers have noted sightings of African Green-Pigeons in Southern Sudan, well outside their usual geographic range.

While the reasons for these movements are not entirely clear, they may be related to changes in food availability or other environmental factors. In some parts of their range, African Green-Pigeons are known to form loose flocks during the non-breeding season.

These flocks may move around in search of food resources or may stay in a particular area if food is abundant.

Breeding

African Green-Pigeons breed throughout the year in tropical regions and during the wet season in savannas. The breeding season begins with courtship displays by male birds, which consist of aerial displays and calls.

Once pairs have formed, they build nests in trees using twigs and leaves and lay a single egg. The incubation period lasts for around 13-14 days, and both male and female birds take turns incubating the egg.

Once the egg hatches, the parents take turns feeding the chick with a crop milk produced from their own digestive systems. The chick fledges after around two weeks and can fly within a month.

After leaving the nest, young birds typically remain with their parents for several more weeks before becoming independent.

Conservation Status

Currently, the African Green-Pigeon is classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, their numbers are believed to be declining in some parts of their range due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation.

Conservation efforts are focusing on protecting their natural habitats and promoting sustainable land-use practices to ensure the continued survival of this beautiful bird species.

Conclusion

The African Green-Pigeon is an interesting bird species found in various habitats throughout Africa. While they are generally non-migratory, they may undertake seasonal movements to establish territories and find food.

African Green-Pigeons are also known for their communal roosts and loose flocks in some parts of their range during the non-breeding season. Their breeding behavior is also fascinating, with both parents taking turns incubating the egg and feeding the chick crop milk.

Conservation efforts are critical to the survival of this bird species, especially in areas where they are facing threats from habitat loss and degradation. , as the article will be informative rather than persuasive.

Diet and Foraging

Feeding

The African Green-Pigeon feeds mainly on fruit, but also occasionally feeds on leaves and flowers. They are arboreal foragers, meaning they spend most of their time in trees searching for food.

They use their strong legs and feet to perch on branches while they search for fruit. They also have a specialized beak that allows them to extract seeds from hard fruits.

Diet

The African Green-Pigeon has a varied diet, consisting of a wide range of fruits. Some of their preferred fruits include figs, berries, and oil palms.

They are also known to feed on exotic fruits such as guava and mango, which are commonly found in urban areas.

Metabolism and Temperature Regulation

The African Green-Pigeon has a high metabolic rate, which enables them to digest fruit quickly. They have a unique digestive system that allows them to extract nutrients from their food efficiently.

They also have a specialized gland near their eyes that helps them regulate their body temperature by excreting excess salt. This adaptation is essential for them to survive in hot, arid environments.

Sounds and Vocal

Behavior

Vocalization

African Green-Pigeons are known for their distinctive vocalizations, which consist of a variety of whistles and coos. Males have a more elaborate vocalization than females and use their calls as a courtship display during the breeding season.

They have a unique vocalization called the “booming” call, which is used to defend their territories and attract mates. The booming call consists of a series of deep, low-pitched coos that build in intensity.

In addition to their booming call, African Green-Pigeons have a variety of other calls that they use for communication. They have a soft, purring coo that they use to communicate with their mates.

They also have a harsh, grating call that they use when they are alarmed or threatened. African Green-Pigeons are social birds and often call to each other while foraging or roosting.

They also produce a range of contact calls to keep in touch with each other during flight or when they are moving through their habitat.

Conclusion

The African Green-Pigeon is an interesting bird species with unique adaptations that enable them to survive in their environment. Their diet and foraging behavior are fascinating, with these birds having evolved specialized beaks for extracting seeds from hard fruits.

Their vocalizations are also distinctive, with males having an elaborate vocal display that they use to court females and defend their territories. Promoting sustainable land-use practices and protecting their natural habitats are critical to the continued survival of this beautiful bird species.

, as the article will be informative rather than persuasive.

Behavior

The African Green-Pigeon exhibits a wide range of behaviors related to locomotion, self-maintenance, agonistic behavior, and sexual behavior.

Locomotion

African Green-Pigeons are arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in trees. They have strong legs and feet that allow them to perch on branches while they search for food.

They are agile and can move quickly through the trees using their wings to maintain balance.

Self Maintenance

African Green-Pigeons exhibit a range of self-maintenance behaviors, including preening, bathing, and sunning. Preening is an essential behavior that helps birds keep their feathers in good condition by straightening and cleaning them.

Bathing is another critical behavior that helps birds keep their feathers clean and remove parasites. African Green-Pigeons also engage in sunning, which involves spreading their wings and exposing themselves to the sun.

This behavior helps them regulate their body temperature and kill off any parasites on their feathers. Agonistic

Behavior

Like many bird species, African Green-Pigeons engage in agonistic behavior, which involves aggressive displays and vocalizations aimed at defending their territory or advertising their fitness to potential mates.

These displays can include puffing out the chest, flapping the wings, and pushing or chasing other birds. Sexual

Behavior

The African Green-Pigeon exhibits a range of sexual behaviors related to courtship and mating.

During the breeding season, males engage in elaborate courtship displays, which involve aerial displays and calls. They also use their distinctive booming call to defend their territory and attract mates.

Females are typically responsible for nest building, incubation, and chick rearing. They produce a soft, purring coo to communicate with their mates during the breeding season.

Breeding

African Green-Pigeons are cooperative breeders, meaning that groups of birds may help to raise a single chick. Females build the nests in trees using twigs and leaves, and they typically lay a single egg.

The incubation period lasts for around 13-14 days, and both male and female birds take turns incubating the egg. The chicks are fed a crop milk produced by the parents for the first few weeks.

After leaving the nest, young birds typically remain with their parents for several more weeks before becoming independent.

Demography and Populations

The African Green-Pigeon has a large range and is generally considered to be a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, some subspecies are facing local threats, such as habitat loss and fragmentation.

The populations of African Green-Pigeons are declining in some areas, particularly in West and Central Africa. Conservation efforts are critical to preserving the African Green-Pigeon populations.

These efforts include promoting sustainable land-use practices to protect their natural habitats and minimize the impact of human activities. Conservationists are also working to raise awareness of the importance of this bird species as an indicator of healthy ecosystems.

Conclusion

African Green-Pigeons exhibit a range of fascinating behaviors related to locomotion, self-maintenance, agonistic behavior, and sexual behavior. Their population is currently classified as a species of least concern, but some subspecies are facing local threats.

Promoting sustainable land-use practices and conservation efforts are critical to ensuring the continued survival of this beautiful bird species. The African Green-Pigeon is a fascinating bird species that is found in various habitats throughout Africa.

This article has explored various topics related to the African Green-Pigeon, including their identification, plumages, molts, systematics history, habitat, diet, foraging, behavior, breeding, vocalization, and demography. The article shows that African Green-Pigeons are a unique and intriguing species that are facing threats due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Conservation efforts are essential to protect this beautiful bird species and ensure their survival. By raising awareness of their significance as indicators of healthy ecosystems, we can take action to preserve the African Green-Pigeon for future generations to enjoy.

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