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European Turtle Dove - BirdForum Opus

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Photo © by Steve G
Dehesa, Caceres province, Spain, April 2004
Streptopelia turtur



  • Grey brown plumage
  • Sides of head are yellow
  • Pink neck and breast
  • Grey blue nape, crown, flanks and rump
  • Cinnamon wings with black mottling
  • White belly and undertail coverts
  • Red eye rim
  • Red legs and toes
Photo © by picus
Zavattarello, Italy, July 2010

Similar Species

Oriental Turtle Dove is probably the biggest problem, especially birds of subspecies meena


Western Palearctic to northern Afghanistan. Winters south to southern Africa.



This is a polytypic species, consisting of four subspecies:

  • S. t. turtur:
  • S. t. arenicola:
  • S. t. hoggara:
  • Southern Sahara (Aïr Massif and Hoggar Mountains)
  • S. t. rufescens:
  • Egypt (Dakhla and Kharga oases) and northern Sudan (Faiyûm)
Photo © by Ray.Scott
Weardale, Durham, July 2012


Open woodlands.


Its nest is built from twigs and is placed in a tree. The clutch consists of 2 white eggs which are incubated by both sexes.



  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Birdforum thread discussing identification of European Turtle-Dove vs meena Oriental Turtle-Dove
  3. The Free Online Dictionary
  4. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.