Red Turtle Dove

Red turtle Dove  Streptopelia tranquebarica


  • Streptopelia : streptos-collar, neck-chain; peleia -dove
  • Tranquebarica : From Tranquebar, Tamilnadu in India

Distribution in India: Widespread resident except for some parts of South, West and North Himalayas.

Description: Size of 22-23 cm. Head is bluish grey, merging into whitish grey above bill and in front of half-collar spanning hind neck; throat whitish; mantle, upper back, wing-coverts, scapulars and inner secondaries deep mauvish pink; neck, breast and belly slightly paler, a more greyish pink shading into pinkish grey and then white on under tail-coverts; lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts dark bluish grey; central retrices drab grey, lateral ones dark grey on basal half and greyish white distally; outer webs of outermost pair entirely white; underwings pale bluish grey to whitish grey; outer wing-coverts with same bluish grey edgings; primaries black; underside of tail black on basal half and white distally; iris ranges from brown to brownish black; orbital skin greyish; bill black to greyish black; legs purplish black or purplish red. Female is drab brown where male is vinous pink and brownish grey where he is bluish grey. The juvenile female is a paler version of adult, most feathers are edged with buff; juvenile male resembles juvenile female but plumage is suffused with a reddish tinge. The race humil (Sikkim and Assam and Andaman Islands) is  darker all over.

Habitat: It is found in open country with trees, scrub, jungle and dry woodland. It is a summer visitor to Himalayas below 800 m and ascends to 1300 m .In winters it is a lowland bird

Food Habits:It Eats seeds of grasses and herbs, as well as cultivated seeds, including rice and maize, buds and young leaves Feeding done on ground only.

Breeding Habits: They breed in South India when food is available; in North India they await the favourable conditions of summer, April-June. The nest is a skimpy saucer or platform of twigs and grass stems. Lays a clutch of 2 eggs and incubation period is 15–16 days and fledging period is 15–17 days.