European Turtle Dove

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.”

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 02 December 2010
Scientific Name
Streptopelia turtur
  • Columbiformes
  • Columbidae
  • Streptopelia
  • S. turtur
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Vulnerable (as of 6 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
10 to 11 inches
18 to 20 inches



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

Brazilian (Português brasileiro) Pombo-domestico
Czech (Cesky) hrdlička divoká
Danish (Dansk) Turteldue
Dutch (Nederlands) Tortelduif
Finnish (Suomi) turturikyyhky
French (Français) Tourterelle des bois
German (Deutsch) Turteltaube
Italian (Italiano) Tortora europea
Japanese (日本語) コキジバト (kokijibato)
Norwegian (Norsk) Turteldue
Polish (Polski) turkawka
Russian (русский язык) Горлица обыкновенная
Spanish (Español) Tórtola Europea
Swedish (Svenska) Turturduva
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