Fun Cape Turtle Dove Facts For Kids

Shirin Biswas
Jan 31, 2024 By Shirin Biswas
Originally Published on Mar 11, 2022
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Learn some cape turtle dove facts with us today!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.1 Min

Cape turtle dove (Streptopelia capicola) is a bird species which is native to South and East Africa. The distribution of these birds is most abundantly seen in places such as Tanzania and Angola, where a semi-desert climate prevails.

Characterized by their gray, lavender and white feathers and black colored collar, this dove species is quite common. They like nesting in flocks and are very protective of their eggs.

There is no particular breeding season for these birds, and they can raise multiple broods of up to four birds in the same year. Keep reading to learn more facts about cape turtle doves!

Cape Turtle Dove Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a cape turtle dove?

As the name suggests, a cape turtle dove or ring-necked dove is a member of the dove family. These birds are common in Southern Africa.

What class of animal does a cape turtle dove belong to?

The scientific name of the class to which the ring-necked dove (Streptopelia capicola) belongs is Aves. However, they can just as easily be classified as birds instead.

How many cape turtle doves are there in the world?

Unfortunately, there are no conclusive numbers that can tell us about the ring-necked dove population of the world. However, the conservation status of these birds suggests that the species is fairly widespread and occurs in large numbers around the globe.

Where does a cape turtle dove live?

The distribution of the ring-necked dove population is spread across Southern Africa. It is found in places that have water bodies and in open grasslands as well. These birds prefer living in semi-desert climatic conditions, such as in thickets and woodlands.

What is a cape turtle dove's habitat?

The habitat range of this species is spread along South and East Africa. They are found in places such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Angola, where the semi-desert climate is common.

Who do cape turtle doves live with?

Even though birds of the Streptopelia capicola species are mostly seen alone or in pairs, these birds build their nests in groups. They often flock in groups of hundreds, which shows that these doves are very sociable.

How long does a cape turtle dove live?

The lifespan of these birds is highly dependent on their habitat. When in the wild, the cape turtle doves have lower chances of living for too long, since they are faced with the threats of many possible predators. However, when in captivity, a cape turtle dove can live for up to 15 years. This is because a bird is ideally well fed and cared for when in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The ring-necked dove or half collared dove is oviparous in nature, meaning that it reproduces by laying eggs. The female cape turtle dove takes around a week to build. Often, females repurpose the nest of another bird species for laying eggs.

These birds are monogamous and very territorial when it comes to their eggs. Around one to four white eggs are laid by the females of the species, which both the parents incubate together. The incubation period is of 13-16 days.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of the half collared dove or cape turtle is that of Least Concern. this means that the species is not facing any threat of extinction and will be seen in South and East Africa for decades to come!

Cape Turtle Dove Fun Facts

What do cape turtle doves look like?

The cape turtle dove gets its name from its half collar or cape-like feather pattern near the neck. These birds have a beautiful set of feathers, which range in colors from white, lavender, and gray to black. the black-colored feathers in the neck region make a collar, which is the most striking feature of the species.

The plumage is darkest in color near the top of the bird, and the colors fade as we move towards the abdomen. The tail feathers have white tips, which also provide a nice contrast. The juvenile birds of the species are pale in color in comparison to the adults. These birds also have dark pink or purple-colored legs and feet, along with black eyes.

Cape turtle doves typically flock around abundant food and water resources.

How cute are they?

The half-collared dove or cape turtle dove is made adorable by its colorful plumage. As the bird perches on top of trees, the ring around its neck gives it an almost regal appearance which we adore!

How do they communicate?

Across the range of habitats where the Streptopelia capicola species is found, the sound of this bird is very common. Since these birds are found in abundant numbers in Southern Africa, the cape turtle dove call is known to pretty much everyone in the area. The sound is most intense in the breeding season as the males call for female attention. Streptopelia capicola flocks are also known for the high-volume sound that they are capable of creating!

How big is a cape turtle dove?

The average length of cape turtle doves from head to tail is of around 9.8-10.4 in (25-26.5 cm).

How fast can a cape turtle dove fly?

Unfortunately, the exact speed at which the Streptopelia capicola species can fly in its native habitats is unknown to us.

How much does a cape turtle dove weigh?

The average weight of this bird species from Southern Africa is of around 3.2-6.6 oz (92-188 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no special names for the male and female cape turtle doves. Hence, we lovingly refer to them as the male cape turtle doves and female cape turtle doves.

What would you call a baby cape turtle dove?

Baby doves are called squabs!

What do they eat?

The diet of cape turtle doves consists mainly of seeds and berries. Across their native habitats, milkweeds, pines, acacias, and lupins are abundant. In addition to this, oaks and currants also play a significant role in the diet of the species.

Are they friendly?

Whether or not cape turtle doves are friendly in nature is not exactly known. However, people would hardly see them linger if humans are around.

Would they make a good pet?

While it is not common practice to have this Southern African bird species as a pet, its diet and the climatic conditions in its range of habitats does make it easy to take care of!

Did you know...

Seeds are the predominant food for cape turtle doves.

The male cape turtle dove does many courtship rituals ahead of the breeding season.

Do cape turtle doves mate for life?

One of the most interesting facts about these birds is that they are monogamous and mate for life!

How to tell the gender of a cape turtle dove?

It is very tough to tell the difference between male and female cape turtle doves. However, when seen closely, the males of the species are larger than the females!

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You


See All

Written by Shirin Biswas

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Shirin Biswas picture

Shirin BiswasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.

Read full bio >