Turtle Dove

Streptopelia capicola

Scientific Name

Turtle Dove:  
Streptopelia capicola

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

Ring-Neck Doves are found worldwide. They do not occur as a wild form.

Natural Habitat

Ring-Neck Doves have been domesticated for 2000-3000 years.

Physical Characteristics

  • Ring-Neck Doves are stout bodied birds, with rather short necks and a uniformly small head. They measure about 12 inches from head to tail. They have short slender rounded bills, which thicken towards the tip and are thinner in the middle. The feathers are so loosely attached to their skins that they drop out very easily, perhaps as a protective mechanism against predators. Their plumage has a dry powdery appearance which may be correlated to a lack of oil glands in some species. They can live 12 years and there are over forty different color mutations/combinations of this domesticated species.

Quick Facts

  1. There are over forty different color mutations/combinations of this domesticated species.

  2. The White Dove is often thought of as a separate species but it is actually a color mutation of the Ring-Necked Dove.

  3. They are monogamous and it is the male doves that produce a cooing sound for their mate.

  4. When the eggs are hatched, the squabs are fed regurgitated crop milk by sticking their bill in the throats of the adults.


Giraffe House

Conservation Status

Least Concern: The Turtle Dove is common or abundant and is likely to survive in the wild.

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Ring-Neck Doves eat a variety of grains and seeds, including millet, sunflower seeds and cracked corn. They can also be offered some fresh greens and some minced vegetables. Grit is an essential part of their diet because they swallow their food whole. It helps to grind the food.