WHITE COLLARED PIGEON (Columba albitorques) Wing 212 – 234 mm

The White Collared Pigeon unmistakable with its uniform grayish color, white collar patch and, in flight, white on the wings is the dominant pigeon on the plateau above 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). It mainly inhabits rugged areas of the western and southeastern highlands, especially cliffs and escarpments, but it is also a common feature of many plateau villages and towns where it lives in association with churches and other large buildings. It also frequents bridges on the highways and roads of the plateau. A regular occurrence on the plateau in the morning is the movement of White Collared Pigeons from their roosting sites on the cliffs to grain fields where they feed; occasionally a flock of several hundred individuals may visit these fields. In the Bale Mountains the pigeons roost at the higher elevations of up to 3,800 (12,500 feet) in flocks and in meters the morning fly to lower elevations to feed. In the Semien Mountains they roost usually on the lower levels of the cliffs at about 2100 meters (7,000 feet) and every morning slowly spiral up to the tops of the cliffs at 3,200-4,400 meters (10,500-14,500 feet) before moving inland to feed. In late afternoon they either remain inland and roost in trees, or they return to the cliffs where they hurtle themselves over the edge and, passing within a few meters of the cliff-face, fly at very high speeds to their roosting sites hundreds of feet below.This pigeon nests most months of the year (January-June and August-November) on ledges of cliffs, bridges and houses. Its nest is like most pigeons’ nests, made largely of grass stalks and small sticks. It lays two creamy white and glossy eggs. The male and female, who may be at the nest at the same time, are alike in appearance. Despite this pigeon’s abundance and its occurrence in large areas of the plateau, including cities like Addis Ababa little else is known about its life history.

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