Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur). Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on June 1st 2015.
Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on June 1st 2015.
(1/500th sec at f14. Click image for a larger version. © David Hastings)


L: 25 - 28 cm; WS: 45 - 50 cm

Smaller and slighter in build than other doves, the Turtle Dove may be recognised by its browner colour, and the black and white striped patch on the side of its neck, but it is its tail that catches the eye when it flies from the observer; it is wedge shaped, with a dark centre and white borders and tips. The mature bird has blue-grey head, neck, flanks, and rump, and cinnamon wings, mottled with black. The breast is vinaceous, the abdomen and under tail coverts are white. The bill is black, the legs and eye rims are red.

This species is a summer migrant to the southern half of England.

It breeds in deciduous woods and copses with rich undergrowth.

Turtle Doves are rather shy and usually keep well hidden in vegetation. Their call is distinctive.

The Turtle Dove population has fallen considerably in recent years, and it is on the UK Red list as a result. There are about 44000 breeding territories in Britain.


16-Jun-2019 : Otmoor, Oxon (h)
03-Jun-2019 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)

06-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
15-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (1)
13-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (4)
11-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (1)

03-Aug-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (h)
10-Jun-2017 : Starigrad, Croatia
09-Jun-2017 : Paklenica National Park, Croatia
30-May-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)

31-Jul-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1h)
26-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1h)
19-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
05-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
14-May-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)

22-Jul-2015 : Melnik, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : Rupite Hot Springs, Bulgaria
04-Jul-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
21-Jun-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (2h)
01-Jun-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
17-May-2015 : Stockbridge Down, Hants (h)
10-May-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (4)