Birds Of An Underrated Feather – The Beautiful Pigeons Of Africa

These aren’t your regular pigeons you’d find pecking on that stray french fry at the bottom of the subway tracks in New York. Africa is home to some of the most beautiful pigeons in the world that sport all the colors in a rainbow. In fact, you’d think at first glance that they were tropical birds at first (and in some cases, you’d technically be correct. Take a peek (or peck) at this list of some of Africa’s most underrated birds — pigeons.

african green pigeon

Courtesy of Derek Keats/

African Green Pigeon – South Africa

You’ll find this minty-green bird ruffling its feathers in Sub-Saharan Africa (in most African countries). Many tourists often mistake them for parrots, thanks to their green colors and their odd ability to climb (unlike most pigeons).

Other countries to find them: Somalia, Angola, Sudan, Swaziland, Liberia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Niger, Mozambique, Mali, Zambia, Zimbabwe and more.

seychelles blue pigeon

Courtesy of / Wikimedia Commons

Seychelles Blue Pigeon – Seychelles

You wouldn’t know they’re pigeons just by looking at them. The Seychelles blue pigeon is noted for its distinct feather patterns and its talent of appearing larger by puffing out its feathers when it gets excited or upset. For a period of time, their population was declining due to locals and farmers shooting them on sight, since unfortunately many of them considered the birds to be pests. Today, the birds have made a turn around and are back on their claws by gaining population again.

speckled pigeon

Courtesy of Ian White/

Speckled Pigeon – Ethiopia

If they could talk, they would brag about their fabulous neck shawl. Speckled pigeons have a stunning collection of colorful feathers to make these distinct markings. You’ll find them mostly in urban settings (like subway pigeons) hanging out in roofs where they also lay their eggs. You can tell how old the pigeon is by their color — the older they get, the less brown they are.

Other countries to find them: Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia, Algeria and more.

bruce's green pigeon

Courtesy of wagon16/

Bruce’s Green Pigeon – Benin

First off, who is Bruce and why does Bruce have a fleet of green pigeons? Bruce’s green pigeon is a misleading name since there isn’t a Bruce and the pigeons aren’t exactly green (they’re more grayish and yellow if anything). Very little is known about these birds, but tourists can find them in many parts of the continent.

Other countries to see them: Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Uganda and more.

madagascar green pigeon

Courtesy of Frank Vassen/

Madagascar Green Pigeon

They remind you of the budgies you’d see at the pet store don’t they? Despite being named the Madagascar green pigeon, they’re also found on other islands. Their population is decreasing but they aren’t on the endangered species list.

Other countries to find them: Comoros and Mauritius

pink pigeon

Courtesy of cuatrok77/

Pink Pigeon – Mauritius

Pretty in pink and they know it. Pink pigeons are practically endemic to Mauritius, making it a top spot for die hard birders from around the world to see them. The pigeons almost went extinct in the early 1990s, but are still on the critically endangered list. If you see them in the wild of Mauritius, be sure you enjoy the rare sighting.

african olive pigeon

Courtesy of wagon16/

African Olive Pigeon – Angola

They almost look like they’re wearing matching accessories. African olive pigeons are easily identified by the yellow rings on their eyes, bright yellow beaks and talons. The birds aren’t named after the olives you can eat, but rather their olive-colored feathers (although, we think they resemble more of a rainbow abalone shell). They’re also known as the Rameron pigeon.

Other countries to find them: South Africa, Tanzania, Eritrea, Democratic Republic of the Congo and more.

white collared pigeon

Courtesy of

White Collared Pigeon – Eritrea

These pigeons tend to have cushy 9-5 jobs sitting behind a computer. Just kidding. However, they love their rocky landscapes and they blend in well into the background. White Collar pigeons also tend to look like an ordinary Rock pigeon, but have a distinct white slit across their neck as if they were wearing pearls. Who said pigeons can’t be fabulous?

Other countries to find them: Ethiopia

More from AFKTravel:

20 Beautiful Birds Of Botswana

15 Gorgeous South African Birds

Going Batty – Where To See Bats In Africa

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