Columba guinea (*)
Columba guinea Linnaeus, 1758
Systema Naturae ed.10 p.163
The Speckled Pigeon or (African) Rock Pigeon (Columba guinea) is a pigeon which is a resident breeding bird in much of Africa south of the Sahara. It is a common and widespread species in open habitats over a good deal of its range, although there are sizeable gaps in its distribution.
This species builds a large stick nest in a tree and lays two white eggs. Its flight is quick, with the regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings which are characteristic of pigeons in general.
This is a large pigeon at 41 cm in length. Its back and wings are rufous, the latter heavily speckled with white spots. The rest of the upperparts and underparts are blue-grey, and the head is grey with red patches around the eye. The neck is brownish, streaked with white, and the legs are red. The call is a loud doo-doo-doo.
Sexes are similar, but immatures are browner than adults.
The Speckled Pigeon is frequently seen around human habitation and cultivation. Most of its food is vegetable, and it gathers in large numbers where grain or groundnuts are available.
* BirdLife International (2004). Columba guinea. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 8 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
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