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Speckled Pigeon

Columba guinea
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Range: 
Africa, south of the Sahara Desert
Habitat: 
Lives in open areas and urban spaces.

Speckled Pigeons are a reddish purple, with white speckles along their wings and a red skin patch around their eye.  Flocks may consist of several hundred individuals and often socialize on the ground to feed, particularly where food is abundant. They eat seeds, groundnuts, and cultivated grains. They are good flyers, often flying high in the sky, using steady wing beats to fly quickly

Males attract females by crouching down, lowering their head, vocalizing, and twitching their wings. Like most pigeons, they clap their wings behind their back. They build different types of nests, of various shapes and materials, in an area that offers some protection. Males bring nesting material, females build the nest.  Females lay 1 to 3 eggs. Incubation lasts about 14 to 18 days. Because they’re pigeons, they feed their offspring with crop milk for the first few days. Crop milk is secreted by cells lining the parent’s crop. Babies stick their head in the parent’s mouth and eat some nutritious crop milk, similar in nutritional value to cow milk.  Fledging occurs at 20 to 25 days.

African Speckled Pigeons are Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Their population is stable as there are no perceived threats.