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European turtle dove


Common name European turtle dove
Scientific name Streptopelia turtur
Type Farmland birds
Status Summer

Medium-sized bird (about 28 cm or 11 in) similar to a pigeon but more slender.  Orange-brown upperparts with a black mottling, bluish grey head and neck with a neck-collar showing black and white lists. Greyish or pink underparts. Tail with black base and white terminal stripe.


Cultivated areas

Where it lives

Species of open environments with mosaics of habitats in warm areas. It prefers alternating hedges, boundaries and crops with copses, riverbanks or grasslands. Present also in parks and gardens. The European Turtle Dove avoids mountain areas and dense, closed forest stands.

How it lives

Summer bird present in Malaga during the breeding season. As of May, it makes two to three annual layings of 1 to 2 eggs. Nest in trees or shrubs. Granivorous species that feeds on seeds, sprouts of herbs and fruits. Preference for sunflower crops. This bird is a long-haul migrant. It spends the winter south of the Sahara.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

It is a frequent and widely distributed species throughout the province. In the Great Path it can be watched especially in stages where there are mixed agricultural areas. Although it is present in the most of them, stages 11 to 17 are good options to observe it.

Curious facts

Turtle doves emit a soft, monotonous and repetitive lullaby that always brings memories of the landscape in the warm hours of spring in the countryside. Its name derives from the Latin "torques", which means necklace. The same goes for its Latin genus, that derives from the Greek and also means "dove with collar".

Similar birds
Routes where it can be observed
Wintering Summer Resident Migration