Fun Turtle Dove Bird Facts For Kids

Anamika Balouria
Oct 20, 2022 By Anamika Balouria
Originally Published on Mar 10, 2022
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Read turtle dove bird facts to know more about the food diet of the European turtle dove.

The turtle dove, Streptopelia turtur, is also known by other names like the European turtle dove and the Eurasian dove. These birds are migratory and migrate to the southern region of the country with the arrival of the winter season.

They are from the family Columbidae, which mostly consists of dove and pigeon species. They are monogamous by their nature, and both the male and female are seen protecting the nests and eggs from predators.

Turtle doves have beautiful wings with black, gray, brown, and yellow stripes, while their thin necks have white and black stripes with a blue hue or tint. Mostly, the plumage is white in color, and the bill of the bird is gray in color.

They are medium-sized and lure each other by cooing and purring. The female lays two eggs.

These birds are migratory and feed on a diet of seeds. Thus, they are more visible around the farmlands, heathlands, and woodland regions where there are more seeds. In exceptional cases, these birds feed on insects.

These species have been classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN under threatened species. If you want to spot these birds, look for the colorful wings of these birds. These birds are not endemic.

Interesting Facts About The Turtle Dove Bird

What type of animal is a turtle dove bird?

Turtle doves are birds, specifically Columbidae members. The Columbidae family is a diverse group with over 300 different species, including doves and pigeons. They are also called European turtle doves.

What class of animal does a turtle dove belong to?

The turtle dove species belong to the family of Columbidae, while the scientific name by which they are commonly known is Streptopelia turtur. They belong to the class of Aves and belong to the family that consists of pigeon and dove species.

How many turtle dove birds are there in the world?

The exact number of turtle dove species is unknown and is not estimated at a global level.

Where does a turtle dove bird live?

Turtle dove species are found in England, Russia, Turkey, and Scandinavia. As these birds are migratory, they are also found in North Africa and other Middle-Eastern countries. A few times, they have also been spotted in India.

What is a turtle dove bird's habitat?

Turtle doves are typically found in grassy areas where they have access to seeds and water sources. They can be seen from very dry regions to heathlands and farmlands.

The turtle dove bird is mostly found near farmlands where grains, grasses, and seeds are plentiful. The turtle dove bird is a migratory species that travels from colder areas in the winter months to more temperate climates where food sources are more abundant.

This migration allows these turtle doves to establish their breeding grounds in the southern region of England.

Whom does the turtle dove bird live with?

Turtle doves are monogamous by nature and spend most of their time in pairs. During the winter season, they migrate to the south and are seen in pairs while searching for food, similar to that pigeon species.

How long does a turtle dove bird live?

Turtle doves, which are members of the Columbidae family, can survive in their wide range distribution habitat for about two years.

How are they reproduced?

Turtle doves will form monogamous relationships with a single partner for life. Males perform mating rituals to attract females, including breathing deeply and cooing softly. A common ritual between partners is to take turns feeding each other.

The female will typically lay one to two eggs in the nests. Incubation lasts an average of 14 days, while females and males do all the incubation.

Females will also aggressively protect their nests from predators. Once hatched, the young are able to leave the nests within hours and grow quickly. The male is believed to protect the nests during the daylight, while the females are known to protect the nests during the nesting period or breeding population.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these breeding species is listed as Vulnerable as per the IUCN. It is home to a threatened population of dove and pigeon species. Although the turtle doves migrate and their wide range of distribution allows them to live in varied habitats, they are still listed as Vulnerable.

Turtle Dove Bird Fun Facts

What do turtle dove birds look like?

The turtle dove bird typically has brown to gray feathers with white spots on its wings. The turtledove bird's belly is white and gray, while the turtledove bird's face has a yellow patch.

The turtle dove bird is a small to medium-sized species with a long tail and a slim body. The head of the bird is not dark and has a thin neck.

The eye rings of the dove and pigeon species are brown and yellow in color. The wings of the turtle doves are dark brown, black, and yellow in color. The tail from the upper side is also dark in color.

The neck has a small patch, unlike other pigeon species, similar to that of black and white stripes. Their thin bodies allow them to migrate in different habitats and establish their breeding grounds.

The beak of the turtle dove is also dark gray in color. The eggs of the turtle dove are oval in shape and white to creamish in color, which looks like a stone in the nests.

How cute are they?

No doubt, these turtledoves are cute because of their beautiful and colorful wings. As they are monogamous by their nature, these doves look cuter while nesting on their breeding grounds. They are seen in pairs near the breeding grounds.

How do they communicate?

The communication methods of this turtle dove population is unknown, but during migration and breeding season, these birds are known to show some physical gestures and cooing sounds.

How big is a turtle dove bird?

The turtle doves are 10-11 in (26-28 cm) in length, while the wingspan of this dove population is 18.5-21 in (47-53 cm).

How fast can a turtle dove bird fly?

The exact flying speed of the turtle doves is unknown, but as these birds are involved in the migration process, they must be good at flying long distances.

How much does a turtle dove bird weigh?

The weight of these turtle doves is 3.5–5.5 oz (100–156 g). Turtle doves are medium-sized and light-weighted birds with thin tails.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female of the species do not have different names and are known by their common names, such as male turtle dove and female turtle dove.

What would you call a baby turtle dove bird?

A baby turtle dove bird is called a hatchling or juvenile.

What do they eat?

The turtle dove bird primarily feeds on seeds, especially those from grassy and weedy areas. They also eat leaves and the occasional insect.

Are they poisonous?

No, these birds are not poisonous and are loving birds. During the nesting or breeding period, this population can be aggressive to protect their nests from predators.

Would they make good pets?

Otherwise, it is advisable to leave these birds in their natural habitats because of their migration during the winter season to the southern and eastern regions. These breeding species are also Vulnerable and must not be kept as pets.

Did You Know...

Due to their behavior when mating, turtle doves are often considered a symbol of love or affection. Turtle doves make cooing sounds and will often fly together in pairs.

Turtle doves are rare in Ireland and Scotland. These birds have also been mentioned in the Holy Bible. Canola, sunflower, millet, safflower, and many other seeds are liked by these birds.

What is the difference between a dove and a turtle dove?

The turtle dove, also called a European turtle dove, is a subspecies among the different species of doves. Turtles doves and doves, in general, are very similar rather than different. However, there are some notable differences between doves and pigeons as doves are generally smaller than pigeons.

What is special about turtle doves?

The turtle dove is a medium-sized bird of the genus Streptopelia. It is special for its migratory habits. In some countries, it has been hunted as a game species, though elsewhere it is viewed as a pest.

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Written by Anamika Balouria

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

Anamika Balouria picture

Anamika BalouriaBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated and enthusiastic learner, Anamika is committed to the growth and development of her team and organization. She holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English from Daulat Ram University and Indira Gandhi Institute for Open Learning respectively, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Amity University, Noida. Anamika is a skilled writer and editor with a passion for continual learning and development.
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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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