Wednesday, April 19

Oriental turtle dove

   ›      ›   Oriental turtle dove - Streptopelia orientalis

The Oriental turtle dove (Streptopelia orientalis) belongs to the family of doves and pigeons, Columbidae.

The Oriental turtle dove species are distributed in the Indian subcontinent, parts of West Asia, Central Asia and parts of Southeast Asia. The northern subspecies (S. o. orientalis and S. o. meena) of these doves are migratory. There are six recognized subspecies of these doves.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Oriental Turtle Dove Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Oriental turtle dove - Overview

  • Scientific name: Streptopelia orientalis
  • Species author: (Latham, 1790)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Columba orientalis Latham, 1790
  • Family: Columbidae › Columbiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Oriental turtle dove, Chinese: 山斑鸠, French: Tourterelle orientale, German: Orientturteltaube, Spanish: Tórtola oriental, Russian: Большая горлица, Japanese: キジバト, Arabic: القمري الشرقي
  • Other names: Eastern Dove, Eastern Turtle Dove, Rufous Dove
  • Distribution: Indian subcontinent, parts of West Asia, Central Asia, parts of southeast Asia
  • Diet and feeding habits: grains, cereals, wild seeds, green shoots, herbs
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The Oriental turtle dove (Streptopelia orientalis) is closely related to Streptopelia turtur, Streptopelia lugens and Streptopelia hypopyrrha.

The six recognized subspecies of the Oriental turtle dove are: S. o. orientalis (Latham, 1790), S. o. meena (Sykes, 1832), S. o. stimpsoni (Stejneger, 1887), S. o. orii Yamashina, 1932, S. o. erythrocephala (Bonaparte, 1855) and S. o. agricola (Tickell, 1833).

Appearance, physical description and identification

The Oriental turtle dove (Streptopelia orientalis) is a medium-sized dove, measuring 30 to 35 cm in length and weighing 160 to 280 grams.

These doves have grayish blue forehead and pinkish brown crown. There is black and white striped patch on the side of the neck. The throat is pale buff and the breast and the underside are dull pinkish brown.

The wings have brown and dark brown patterns. The tail is wedge shaped. The bill is grayish. The irises are reddish brown. The legs are crimson. Their call is a repeated “her-her-oo-oo” sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Oriental turtle dove - Streptopelia orientalis
Birds of India - Image of Oriental turtle dove - Streptopelia orientalis by 孫鋒 林

Birds of India - Photo of Oriental turtle dove - Streptopelia orientalis
Indian birds - Picture of Oriental turtle dove - Streptopelia orientalis by Lip Kee

Indian birds - Image of Oriental turtle dove - Streptopelia orientalis
Birds of India - Photo of Oriental turtle dove - Streptopelia orientalis by Lip Kee

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The Oriental turtle dove species are distributed in the India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and north Pakistan.

The Oriental turtle dove subspecies S. o. orientalis is distributed in central and eastern Russia, north Mongolia, northeast China, north Japan and north of North Korea. The subspecies S. o. erythrocephala is distributed in central India, as well as Western Ghats and north Eastern Ghats of India.

The Oriental turtle dove subspecies S. o. meena is distributed in southwest Russia, west Mongolia, west China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, north Pakistan and west and north India.

The Oriental turtle dove subspecies S. o. stimpsoni is distributed in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. The subspecies S. o. orii is distributed in Taiwan. The subspecies S. o. agricola is distributed in east India, northeast India, Myanmar and south/central China.

Ecosystem and habitat

These Oriental turtle dove species are moderately forest dependent. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 4000 meters. The artificial ecosystem of these species includes aquaculture ponds, cultivated fields, flooded agricultural lands, rural gardens and urban areas.

The natural ecosystems of these Oriental turtle dove species includes boreal forests, tropical and subtropical dry forests, tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, boreal shrubland, tropical and subtropical moist shrubland and temperate shrubland.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these Oriental turtle dove species is mostly seeds. Grains, cereals, wild seeds, green shoots and herbs are their primary food. They are known to raid paddy and wheat fields and are considered as pest by the local farmers.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these Oriental turtle dove species in the northern ranges is from May to August. In southern India, the breeding season is from November to February. They nest on trees and a flimsy nest is constructed with sticks and twigs. The typical clutch contains two white oval eggs.

Migration and movement patterns

These Oriental turtle dove species are partially migratory birds.

The Oriental turtle dove subspecies S. o. meena breed in southwest Russia, west Mongolia, west China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, north Pakistan and west and north India. They migrate to India and Sri Lanka for wintering.

The Oriental turtle dove subspecies S. o. orientalis breed in central and eastern Russia, north Mongolia, northeast China, north Japan and north of North Korea and migrate southwards to south and southeast Asia for wintering.

The other four southern dove subspecies are resident in their ranges. Post breeding, the juvenile doves may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the Oriental turtle dove (Streptopelia orientalis) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of these species is considered to be stable. Throughout its range it is reported to be generally common. The generation length is 5.3 years. Their distribution size is about 31,900,000 sq.km.

The Oriental turtle dove (Streptopelia orientalis) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion. Hunting and capture for pet trade are the main threats that may endanger the survival of these dove species.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the dove species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the Oriental turtle dove (Streptopelia orientalis).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Streptopelia orientalis
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Columbiformes
Family:Columbidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Streptopelia
Species:S. orientalis
Binomial name:Streptopelia orientalis
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Oriental turtle dove image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/outdoor_birding/15599232774/ (cropped)
Image author: 孫鋒 林 | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 4/19/17
2.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lipkee/440548490/ (cropped)
Image author: Lip Kee | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 4/19/17
3.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lipkee/440548430/ (cropped)
Image author: Lip Kee | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 4/19/17
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