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Oriental Turtle Dove - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Streptopelia orientalis)
Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Francksan
Hokkaido, Japan, 10 August 2007

Alternative name: Rufous Turtle Dove

Streptopelia orientalis


Subspecies S. o. erythrocephala
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Bhimashankar WLS, Western Ghats, Dist. Pune, Maharashtra, India, 24 January 2016

33–35 cm (13-14 inches)

  • Scaly buff-brown on back and wings (the feathers are black fringed with buff, grey, or red
  • Black and white neck patches
  • Long, grey, white-tipped tail
  • Red eyes and pink legs

Sexes are similar but juveniles are paler and lack the distinctive neck patches.

Similar species

European Turtle Dove is similar but has black (not dark gray) centers to the mantle feathers and broader rusty fringing to the greater and median coverts. Spotted Dove has similar neck pattern but lacks rusty mantle fringes and has different vocalisations.


Asia: found in Siberia, Iran, India, China, Korea, south-east Asia, and Japan. Vagrants to to Alaska, Canada, California and Western Europe. Some records may be escaped captives.



Subspecies S. o. meena
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Kainchi Ashram, Dist. Nainital, Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, 21 April 2015

There are six subspecies generally recognised[1]:

  • S. o. meena:
  • S. o. orientalis:
  • S. o. stimpsoni :
  • Ryukyu Islands
  • S. o. orii:
  • S. o. erythrocephala:
  • S. o. agricola:
  • North-eastern India to Myanmar and south-central China (western Yunnan and Hainan Island)


Forests and light woodland, city parks and gardens.


Nominate subspecies
Photo © by letsbefrank
Tonboike Park, Kishiwada, Japan, 6 February 2016


Forages on the ground, sometimes in rice paddies. Their diet is mostly vegetarian, consisting of cereals and pine seeds, also shoots of various plants, including bamboo and herbs.


The clutch consists of two white eggs which are laid in a twiggy tree nest.


Populations of northern Asia from Siberia to Japan and Kurile Islands migrate south to winter in southern and eastern Asia from India to southern Japan. Otherwise resident.


Typical call is a four-note croo croo-croo crooo. Himalayan populations vocalisations are said to differ substantially from north Asian populations suggesting that more than one species may be involved.


Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Russell Jenkins
Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan, 19 June 2011
  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing identification of European Turtle-Dove vs meena Oriental Turtle-Dove
  3. Avibase
  4. Wikipedia contributors. (2018, March 23). Oriental turtle dove. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09:12, February 1, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Oriental_turtle_dove&oldid=832097693
  5. Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2017). Oriental Turtle-dove (Streptopelia orientalis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/54152 on 7 June 2017)

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