Skip to main content

European Turtledove

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two Turtledoves...

Streptopelia turtur
Day two introduces us to the European Turtledove, a mostly-migratory member of the Pigeon family that lives in Europe during the spring and summer, and Africa during the autumn and winter. They can also be found as far east as China, and some populations that live in warmer areas (North Africa for example) remain there year round.

Do you know where Turtledoves get their name? It has nothing to do with a reptilian connection! It actually comes from their Latin species name turtur, which describes the purring sounds that they make.

It's a good thing there are two Turtledoves gifted in the song, because these birds live in pairs throughout the breeding season. Both sexes help to incubate the eggs, and the young Doves are off and on their own after only 20 days!

Outside of the breeding season the Turtledoves tend to live in large flocks. Groups that number into the thousands can be found at wintering sites in Africa! They forage for food in groups, and feed on nuts, seeds, fruits, and the occasional invertebrate.

European Turtledoves are listed as being of least concern because they have an incredibly massive range and a humongous worldwide population. In 2004 it was estimated that there were between 10 and 20 million birds just in Europe, and Europe only constitutes a fragment of the overall group. Numbers could be as high as 100 million! They are the most common native Dove on the entire European continent.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Europe, Africa
Size : Length up to 11in (29cm), Wingspan up to 22in (58cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Columbiformes
Family : Columbidae -- Genus : Streptopelia -- Species : S. turtur


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe