African Green Pigeon

African Green Pigeon 101: Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior, and Relationship with Humans

African green pigeons are a natural wonder to behold due to their unique yet heart-soothing chirping and their distinctive color. Habiting within the African continent, the African green pigeons are one of the 5 pigeons that habitat the Afrotropic biogeographic realm. 

Adult African green pigeons have green plumage, with darker green feathers on their wings and a lighter shade of green around the back and neck. It is yet very distinct from other birds due to its light neon shade around its shoulders.

Not only due to its vocal charm or its beautiful plumage, but this species of pigeon is also vital to the nearby and African ecosystems. By reading this article, you will learn about their habitat, behavior, relationship with humans, and much more.

Physical Characteristics Of The African Green Pigeons

We have previously briefly discussed the African green pigeon physical characteristics and overall outlook of an African green pigeon. In this section, we will go much more in-depth about their physical characteristics and why they are such majestic birds to behold!

Physical Characteristics Of The African Green Pigeons

Physical Characteristics

The African green pigeon is smaller than most usual pigeons around the world. In the African Green Pigeon species, the male counterpart is much larger and heavier compared to the females.

Both genders of this bird have olive color plumage, which begins to show more shades of green as they grow older. 


An adult African green pigeon has light pickle-green feathers on its wings with a yellow-greenish shade on its legs. The main attractive feature of this species of pigeon is the light purple shade on its upper wings. 

There are about 5 to 6 different colors on the plumage of a single African green pigeon, which is pretty rare to see. No wonder they are such a sight to behold!

Their plumage is perfect for their habitat, as it conceals them perfectly. Different habitations and forests require these birds to have slightly different plumage for camouflage. Hence, all the subspecies of African Green Pigeons have different distinctive plumage depending on where they inhabit.

African Green Pigeon Plumage

Also, although not quite backed by scientists, people have noticed these exotic birds have brighter-colored plumage in warmer regions of Africa. It is believed that these birds adapt and develop in accordance with their climate to help dissipate heat.

Other Markings

It has a light neon neck with a very deep crimson red on its beak and its feet. The tip of the beak, however, is mostly white to light neon-ish. 

Different Species

There are about 17 different sub-species of the African green pigeon. All of them are very similar from the outside though they have slightly different shades of color on their plumage. They are normally differentiated due to their choice of habitat, diet, and very slightly different sizes.

Habitat and Behavior Of The African Green Pigeons

The choice of habitat for the African Green Pigeons is bold. Africa really is an unforgiving wilderness, yet these birds thrive in such an environment. Thanks to their praiseworthy adaptability and their survival tactics, all of which we will discuss down below.

Habitat and Behavior Of The African Green Pigeons


The African Green Pigeon habitat includes a wide range of areas around most of the African continent. That’s from southern Africa to the Central African Republic to savannas to even the woodlands in Zimbabwe. 

General pigeon habitats include dense forests and rural places with lots of trees. The African Green Pigeons are no different! They also tend to live their lives in one common location like general pigeons. 

Hence, they do not migrate from continent to continent and exhibit migratory patterns, and tend to live within the African ecosystem for their entire life.


The African Green Pigeon diet normally consists of rich fruits in woodlands and forests, but their diet also includes cycads and wild figs. They are generally observed resting in fig trees. 

As their overall plumage color is green, this helps to camouflage and attract any unnecessary attention from predators. 

Nesting Behavior

They are very calm, composed, and mature, much like other pigeons. Therefore, they also have a very mature parenting nature and nesting behavior. Both the female and the male takes proper responsibility for nurturing the young. 

African Green Pigeon Nesting Behavior

When building the nest, the male searches for branches to build the nest. While the female chooses the canopy she wants to lay eggs at. Together they build the nest in harmony. This is certainly a unique bird behavior.

Contribution To The Ecosystem

Such advanced parenting should increase the population of African green pigeons. But due to poachers, climate change, and deforestation, the numbers of these pigeons are drastically decreasing.

This harms the African wildlife and its ecosystem equally, as these pigeons maintain the balance of vermins. Without them, the number of vermins increases aggressively and harms farmers growing crops all around Africa.

Consequently, studying them and helping to maintain their population would certainly help the farmers in the general vicinity and expand the African ecosystem exponentially. There are many research institutions to aid with such acts.

Relationship with Humans Of African Green Pigeons

Here is a discussion below on African Green Pigeon behavior and their rich history with us. The sweet relationship of pigeons with humans is nothing new but the African Green Pigeons capture a different emotion in us!

Relationship with Humans Of African Green Pigeons

Significance In Our Daily Lives

Pigeons have been a domestic friend to humans for more than thousands of years. They were mainly used to aid in carrying information from one end of the world to the other since the time of the Romans!

But they are more than just message carriers for humans. Instead, they are a very close companion to us that help a great deal in our daily lives and our ecosystem.

As already mentioned, African green pigeons help to keep the population of vermins at a safe count. Hence, gardens and crop fields are safe as long as plenty of pigeons are around.

Their Interaction With Humans And Their General Behavior

African green pigeons are also very intelligent and exhibit extreme social behavior. They do get tamed and respond to their master intelligently. Also, they love to be petted! 

These pigeons love head pats and gentle strokes on their feathers and respond accordingly with cooing and friendly pecking. Such is the pigeon-human relationship.

They are also very low maintenance yet very faithful and surely make a  loving pet. Best for people who do not have adequate time in their lives to pet a cat or a dog. The African Green Pigeon-human relationship is very beautiful but still might not fulfill everyone’s need for a pet as they prefer their freedom too.

African Green Pigeon Interaction With Humans And Their General Behavior

However, not everyone pets an African green pigeon for backyard birding. They harbor other interests, such as using pigeon meat for making various delicious dishes. 

Hence, pigeon hunting is also a very renowned sport. The only problem is, unlike other pigeons, African green pigeons are not vast in number.

Our Negative Impact On Their Lives

Counting just above 15 thousand total in the wilderness, the total number of African green pigeons does not look great. With all the poachers trying to get their hands on these exotic birds, the numbers are declining rapidly.

On top of that, it is nothing new that deforestation is causing these pigeons plenty of issues, much like most other animals in the wild. This is another reason for such a fast decline in these exotic birds.

Our Effort To Preserving These Exotic Birds

According to bird conservation organizations, if the number of any species declines alarmingly, they would be under the government’s protection. Any sort of hunting will be strictly forbidden and will be met with harsh punishments if the laws are not followed. 

Thankfully, the numbers of African green pigeons have not reached such an alarming state that such drastic measures need to be taken. However, if they ever do, there are proper laws enforced to prevent such exotic birds from extinction.

Interesting Facts 

Now, we will discuss a few interesting facts about African Green pigeons in detail to let you guys know some of the amazing and distinctive traits that these exotic birds possess. 

African Green Pigeon Interesting Facts


Unlike most pigeons, the African green pigeon is capable of mimicking, truly establishing the fact of how intelligent they are. But there is more!

African green pigeons do not only mimic for communication or when they are in a good mood or enjoying the weather. But they also mimic the voice of other predators when they feel unsafe.

Even if the perfect camouflage of their plumage is not good enough to escape predators, they can take drastic and intellectual measures to defend themselves.

Flight Velocity

For a bird of such compact stature, the African green pigeon surely is fast. The exact speed is not known but it is estimated to be more than 30 miles an hour.

Also, they have very large wingspans compared to their compact body size, which means they are very versatile in their flight.

If you’re fascinated by unique and endangered pigeon species, you may also be interested in learning about the Endangered Pink Pigeon and the Tooth-billed Pigeon. Our article on Endangered Pink Pigeons provides valuable insights into their conservation status, habitat, and efforts to protect them. Additionally, our article on Tooth-billed Pigeons explores the characteristics and conservation challenges faced by these remarkable birds.


The African green perigon’s existence holds such significance in the entire ecosystem of their continent. Their unique physical appearance and the pigeon’s behavior are something to be astonished about.

As these birds are not known for migration and spend their entire life within their natural habitat, deforestation and other commercial activities greatly threaten their species. Hence, to protect their population, continued efforts and awareness is mandatory.

We have jeopardized their habitat, and now their habitat conservation should also lie on our shoulders! To know about the effective ways to save them from extension, we need to keep on learning about these magnificent birds and their importance to the ecosystem.

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