Turtle Dove

Irish Name: Fearán
Scientific name: Streptopelia turtur
Bird Family: Pigeons & Doves
red
Conservation status

Status

A scarce passage migrant in spring and autumn, mainly to headlands on the south coast. Has bred in Ireland.

Identification

A small pigeon, being slightly smaller than Collared Dove. Adult Turtle Doves have a pale grey head and underparts, with the neck and breast being a pale pink. There is also a small patch with black and white stripes on the side of the neck. The wings are a rich orange buffy colour with black centres to the feathers. In flight, Turtle Doves show a broad white stripe on the tip of the tail, which contrasts markedly to the dark rump and inner tail. Juveniles are similar to adults, but lack the neck patch and have more subdued colours overall

Voice

Generally silent when seen in Ireland. Song is a monotonous series of "turr-turr-turrr".

Diet

Cereal grain, seeds and fruits of herbs and grasses, sometimes green parts and invertebrates.

Breeding

Has bred in Ireland, but does not do so on a regular basis. There are breeding records for Counties Dublin, Kerry, Cork, Down and Wexford. In Britain and Europe, prefers open lowland areas with a mixture of decidous forests and agricultural lands. Has declined in Europe due to changes in habitat and over-hunting on passage in the Mediterranean.

Wintering

Winters in tropical Africa.

Monitored by

Countryside Bird Survey and BirdTrack.

Similar Species

Collared Dove

Irish Name:
Fearán baicdhubh
Scientific name:
Streptopelia decaocto
Bird Family:
Doves