Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

African Green-pigeon (Treron calvus)


French: Colombar à front nu German: Rotnasen-Grüntaube Spanish: Vinago africano común

Columba Calva


, 1811,

Loango, Congo


Has often been considered conspecific with T. australis (which see) of Madagascar; on basis of differences in cere colour, it seems most appropriate to consider it as being closest to T. australis, T. pembaensis and T. sanctithomae. Usually considered conspecific with T. delalandii but differs in having yellow-green vs (green-tinged) grey crown, neck and mantle (3);  yellow-green vs (yellow-tinged) grey throat to mid-belly (2);  grey-washed green vs  yellow-green rump and tail (2).Original description of wakefieldii included two different spellings (wakefieldi on plate); former selected by First Revisers#R. Present species rather variable; further study will probably reduce the number of valid races. Proposed races here synonymized include granviki (subsumed within gibberifrons), clayi (into orientalis), and chobiensis and damarensis (both into schalowi). Fifteen subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. c. nudirostris (Swainson, 1837) – Senegal, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.
  • T. c. sharpei (Reichenow, 1902) – Sierra Leone E to S Nigeria and N Cameroon.
  • T. c. calvus (Temminck, 1811) – E Nigeria (R Cross) E to NE DRCongo (Ituri region) and S to C Angola.
  • T. c. poensis E. J. O. Hartert & Goodson, 1918 – Bioko.
  • T. c. virescens Amadon, 1953 – Príncipe.
  • T. c. uellensis (Reichenow, 1912) – N DRCongo (R Uelle) E to S South Sudan, NW Uganda and SW Ethiopia.
  • T. c. gibberifrons (Madarász, 1915) – S South Sudan (Imatong Mts) S to NW Tanzania and W Kenya.
  • T. c. brevicera E. J. O. Hartert & Goodson, 1918 – S Ethiopia and E Kenya S, E of Rift Valley (except coastal regions), to C Tanzania.
  • T. c. wakefieldii Sharpe, 1874 – coastal regions of Kenya and NE Tanzania (including Usambara Mts).
  • T. c. salvadorii (A. J. C. Dubois, 1897) – SE DRCongo, Rwanda and Burundi S to Zambia (except NE), N Malawi and NW Mozambique.
  • T. c. orientalis (Gunning & Roberts, 1911) – SE Tanzania, E Mozambique and lower Zambezi Valley.
  • T. c. schalowi Reichenow, 1880 – E Angola, NE Namibia, N Botswana and N & SW Zimbabwe.
  • T. c. ansorgei E. J. O. Hartert & Goodson, 1918 – S Angola.
  • T. c. vylderi Gyldenstolpe, 1924 – N Namibia.
  • T. c. glaucus Clancey, 1967 – S Zimbabwe and NE South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–30 cm; male 160–285 g, female 130–225 g. Large cere extending far back beyond nostrils. General plumage olive-green, tinged yellow on head and underparts... read more


    Advertising call distinctive and not pigeon-like. Commences with a soft fluty trill that suddenly... read more


    A variety of forest and wooded savanna habitats, including riverine Ficus forest, ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous, taking a variety of fruits and berries; particularly fond of figs (Ficus, Moraceae) and Syzygium (Myrtaceae... read more


    Probably occurs almost year-round in S Africa including Angola, reported May–Feb in Zimbabwe, Jun–Dec (mainly Aug–Nov) in... read more


    Sedentary and resident in many areas, but perhaps more often performs local migrations, or is... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Frequent to locally abundant throughout much of its extensive range, although declining in some areas, e.g. Gambia and Príncipe I, due to... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). African Green-pigeon (Treron calvus). 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 25 February 2020).