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European Turtle Dove

Evening Grosbeak
European Starling

Previous bird

European Starling

  • Sturnus vulgaris
  • Starlings & Waxwings

About the European Turtle Dove

Also known as: Common Turtle-dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Turtle-dove, Turtle Dove

European Turtle Doves, known sometimes as just Turtle Doves, are a species of dove native to much of Europe, parts of Asia and northern Africa. These small doves are migratory, breeding in the northern part of their range and moving south for the winter.

Turtle Doves are brownish, with a black-and-white stripe patch on the side of the head. The wings are a warm brown color, speckled with black. They have black bills and a red rim around their eyes.

The Turtle Dove is featured in the Christmas song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” as the second item on the list of gifts given by “my true love.”

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 02 December 2010
Scientific Name Streptopelia turtur
  • Columbiformes
  • Columbidae
  • Streptopelia
  • S. turtur
Birdorable Family Pigeons & Doves
Conservation Status Vulnerable
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 28 July 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
10 to 11 inches
18 to 20 inches
Range West Europe East Europe North Europe South Europe West Asia Central Asia East Asia North Africa


From IUCN Red List:
The European Turtle Dove is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This species has been uplisted to Vulnerable. It has undergone rapid declines in much of its European range whilst in Russia and Central Asia it is thought to have experience more severe declines. Declines are thought to be driven by a number of factors including loss of foraging and nesting sites as well as disease and hunting along its migration.

International Names

  • Pombo-domestico (Brazilian)
  • hrdlička divoká (Czech)
  • Turteldue (Danish)
  • Tortelduif (Dutch)
  • turturikyyhky (Finnish)
  • Tourterelle des bois (French)
  • Turteltaube (German)
  • Tortora europea (Italian)
  • コキジバト (kokijibato) (Japanese)
  • Turteldue (Norwegian)
  • turkawka (Polish)
  • Горлица обыкновенная (Russian)
  • Tórtola Europea (Spanish)
  • Turturduva (Swedish)

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