African lemon dove

African lemon dove
Aplopelia larvata
Photo by Dirk Daniels (Wikipedia)

Common name:
African lemon dove (en); rola-canela (pt); pigeon à masque blanc (fr); paloma de cara pálida (es); zimttaube (de)

Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

This species is patchily distributed across eastern and southern Africa, from Sudan and Ethiopia down to South Africa.

This fairly small dove is 24-30 cm long and weighs 80-150 g.

They are mostly found in tropical moist forests, but also in degraded former forests, rural gardens and plantations. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 3.200 m.

African lemon doves do most of their foraging on the ground. They eat various seeds, fruits and tubers, and also small insects and molluscs.

These birds can breed all year round. The nest is a flat platform of twigs and rootlets, typically placed 2,5 m above ground, usually in the mid-canopy of a tree or creeper. The female lays 1-3 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 14-18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 20 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 2 months later.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
The African lemon dove has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the species is reported to be secretive and therefore perhaps under-recorded. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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