Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

African Olive-pigeon (Columba arquatrix)


French: Pigeon rameron German: Oliventaube Spanish: Paloma ojigualda
Other common names: Rameron Pigeon

Colomba [sic] Arquatrix


, 1808,

Knysna, Cape Province


Closely related to C. sjostedti, C. thomensis and C. pollenii, and all four are sometimes considered conspecific; Asiatic C. hodgsonii may also belong within this group. Monotypic.


Patchily from Eritrea S through E DRCongo and Tanzania to S South Africa; disjunct populations in N Yemen and W Angola.

Descriptive notes

38–41 cm; male 269–429 g, female 288–425 g. Forehead and face dark purple, paler on throat, merging to silvery purple or bluish mauve on breast; feathers of... read more


Advertising call a low-pitched faint cooing phrase repeated at long intervals, each consisting of a... read more


Frequents canopy in evergreen forest at altitudes of 300–3200 m, mostly above 1400 m; also... read more

Food and feeding

Relishes olive-like drupes, and also takes other fruits, seeds, some insects and their larvae. In one study in South Africa, 30 native... read more


Occurs all year round in some areas. Pairs occupy territories of 0·8–3·0 ha. Nest platform of twigs is lined with a few... read more


Populations in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe have been noted to be nomadic, probably seeking... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to frequent and locally common throughout most of E African range. In the period 1850–1865 this species was abundant in parts of South... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). African Olive-pigeon (Columba arquatrix). 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 January 2020).