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A photo of a European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
European Turtle Dove

European Turtle Dove

Streptopelia turtur

The European turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) is a member of the bird family Columbidae, the doves and pigeons. It breeds over a wide area of the south western Palearctic including north Africa but migrates to northern sub-Saharan Africa to winter. Smaller and slighter in build than many other doves, it measures 26–28 cm (10–11 in) in length. The European turtle dove may be recognised by its browner colour, and the black-and-white-striped patch on the side of its neck. The tail is notable as the bird flies from the observer; it is wedge shaped, with a dark centre and white borders and tips. When viewed from below, this pattern, owing to the white under-tail coverts obscuring the dark bases, is a blackish chevron on a white ground. This can be seen when the bird stoops to drink and raises its spread tail. The mature bird has the head, neck, flanks, and rump blue grey, and the wings cinnamon, 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. The black and white patch on the side of the neck is absent in the browner and duller juvenile bird, which also has the legs brown.
European Turtle Dove Sounds

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