TURTLE DOVE (Streptopelia turtur)

Tourterelle des bois


The Turtle Dove is reasonably common in Switzerland, mostly in mixed woodland below 800m, it does not seem to go into high ground. Its generally brown colouration, clearly marked black on the wings, red skin around an orange eye, and striped patch on the side of the neck identify it easily.


For maybe thousands of years Turtle Doves have been associated with pleasant things and it became the symbol of love lauded by many poets. They seem to form permanent pair bonds which is perhaps why. Many of these same poets refer to the call as a "moan" - a description I have some difficulty with as its call is really a cooing noise made in a very stridulating manner "kuurrrrrrrrrrrr, kurr, kurr" this phrase is repeated maybe 5-6 times, then a minute or so pause and repeated. Here are two cuts from the same bird, I have shortened the time between each sequence:


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  If you listen carefully the long initial "kuurrrrrrr" that starts each new phrase seems to be followed by a short grunt or swallowing noise, I guess this may be an intake of breath. This shows quite clearly in the sonogram and the stridulating manner of the sound production can also be clearly seen:




Like all pigeons it is a low frequency call between 450 - 650 Hz.















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