Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Afep Pigeon (Columba unicincta)


French: Pigeon gris German: Kongotaube Spanish: Paloma del Congo
Other common names: Grey Woodpigeon

Columba unicincta


, 1859,

Ogooué River, Gabon


Part of the C. palumbus species-group also including C. trocaz and C. bollii, and probably C. junoniae. Monotypic.


Sierra Leone to Ghana, and SE Nigeria to Gabon, Congo and N Angola, whence E through DRCongo to Uganda.

Descriptive notes

35–36 cm; 356–490 g. Crown and hindneck silvery grey; upperparts and wings slate grey; feathers of mantle, back and rump have silver grey edges, narrower on outer... read more


Advertising call a series of some 7–14 low-pitched, drawn-out, cooing notes at flat pitch... read more


Inhabits forest, typically in canopy, but sometimes forages along the forest edge; occupies montane... read more

Food and feeding

Fruits, berries and seeds, including those of Solanum torvum, Musanga, Coelocaryon, Eisterya, various... read more


Limited data available suggest breeding in the dry season Jan–Sept. Nest of sticks is placed high in a tree. Single white egg. No... read more


Generally resident. In Zambia, may be partially migratory.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Details on population lacking for most of range, and biology remains very poorly known. In W African portion of range, populations appear to be... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Afep Pigeon (Columba unicincta). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 January 2020).