Difference between Dove and Turtle Dove

 

Key Difference: Doves and Turtle Doves are actually more similar than different. Doves are a species of birds in the Clumbidae family, while Turtle Doves are a subspecies and a type of Dove species.

 

Doves and Turtle Doves are actually more similar than different. They are both part of the Columbidae family, while Turtle Doves are a subspecies of the Streptopelia genus. The distinction between these two birds is often difficult for many people that are not well-versed with these two birds. Doves are often portrayed as the white birds that symbolize peace. However, there is no distinct difference between pigeons and doves, with Turtle Doves being a subspecies of this family.

 

Pigeons and doves both belong to the Columbidae Family, which includes around 310 species of birds. The term ‘pigeons’ and ‘doves’ are often used interchangeably. In ornithological practice, the birds that are larger in size are referred to as pigeons, while the smaller ones are referred to as doves. Doves are found in almost all types of climates, except extreme cold or dry places. They have large natural habitats and can also be found as pets of many people.

 

Doves vary in sizes based on the different species, while some can even grow to the size of a turkey. The largest species is known as the Crowned Pigeon of New Guinea, which is approximately the size of turkeys and can weigh between 2-4 kgs. The smallest species is the New World Ground-Dove which is approximately the size of a hummingbird and can weight around 22 grams. The other species range between these two. Doves are stout-bodied birds that have short necks, and short, slender bills with fleshy ceres. They have short legs and small heads on big compact bodies. They are famous for their head bobbing and cooing. The color of their plumage also changes depending on the type of species. Many doves sport bright plumages, while some are purely white, with specks of black or brown.

 

Doves are also often found in large flocks that may have anywhere from 50-500 birds. When mating, the male dove will often puff his features and then strut in front of the female he is trying to impress. In addition to following the female, the male also emits small repetitive sounds and often bows and turns as he comes closer. Once the female allows the male into her proximity, the male mounts the female and mates. Pigeons and doves are monogamous creatures and often mate for life. At one time a pair of pigeons/doves may birth one-two eggs. The fledging period of a nestling lasts about 30 days before the nestling can fly on its own.

 

Doves have had a rich history and due to their gentle nature, they have been easily domesticated for a variety of purposes. They have been associated with peace and spirituality due to their white color. White doves are also considered as good luck when they are released in during ceremonies. Doves have also been used as a sacrifice in many religions, where the people could not afford expensive animal. The Dove is also associated with the Holy Spirit in Christianity.

 

Turtle Dove is a species of birds in the Columbidae family. The name ‘Turtle’ comes from the ‘turr turr’ noises that are emitted by the birds and has nothing to do with the shelled animal. The ‘S. turtur’ species also contains a few other dove subspecies. Turtle Doves are a migratory species that are found in almost all parts of the world, except for places that are extreme cold or extreme dry. The most common type of Turtle Dove is the European Turtle Doves that are found in Europe during the spring seasons and migrate to southern Africa during the winter. These birds are rare in Scandinavia and Russia.

 

Turtle Doves are small and timid birds and can measure between 24-29 cm (9.4 -11 in) in length and have a wingspan of 47-55 cm (19-22 in). They weigh between 85-170 grams. Turtle Doves are extremely shy creatures and tend to stay away from human civilizations with creating homes in trees and forests. The European Turtle bird is brown in color with a black and white stripe on its neck. They have a wedged shaped tail that has a dark center and white borders and tips. The abdomen and under-tail coverts are white. The Turtle Doves have a black bill, red eyes and legs.

 

These birds prefer to reside in open parks or gardens rather than dense woodlands. They are omnivores, but live mainly on seeds, berries, cereals, and grasses. They also occasionally feed on snails, small insects. They also feed on the ground, rather than find the food on trees. The mating season is from May-July, when the male and female Turtle Dove will pair for life. These birds lay one or two eggs each clutch and two to three clutches each mating season. Though, they are currently rant ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN’s Red List, the population for Turtle Doves are on a decline due to lack of proper habitat and food. Turtle Doves are also a huge part of our culture, with them being a symbol of peace and love. They also symbolize eternal love because of them being monogamous.

 

 

Dove

Turtle Dove

Kingdom

Animalia

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Chordata

Class

Aves

Aves

Order

Columbiformes

Columbiformes

Family

Columbidae

Columbidae

Genus

-

Streptopelia

Taxonomy

The term ‘Columba’ is the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek word ‘kolumbos’ meaning “a diver”.

The term ‘Columba’ is the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek word ‘kolumbos’ meaning “a diver”.

Naming

The species have been named as such because of their ability to dive and make swimming motions in the air.

Turtle Doves are one of the many species of doves and pigeons that exist under the Columbidae family. The ‘turtle’ in the name is derived from the ‘turr turr’ sound that is made by the birds.

Subspecies

The Columbidae family has over 310 species of doves.

S. turtur is the scientific name for this particular species, while a few other birds such as the Asian Oriental Turtle Dove S. orientalis, Spotted European Turtle Dove S. chinensis, the African Dusky Turtle Dove S. lugens and Laughing Dove S. senegalensis are also considered as turtle doves.

Distribution

Doves can be found everywhere on the Earth, except for the coldest and driest places such as Sahara Desert, Antarctica and its surrounding islands, and the high Arctic.

Turtle Doves are a migratory species and are found almost in all areas of the world. However, they are rare in northern Scandinavia and Russia.

Habitat

Doves have large natural ranges. They have also managed to adapt to almost every available habitat on the planet. However, different species inhibit different areas.

Steppe, Semi-desert, and a variety of forest types. They also reside in sunny, dry areas with bushes and trees. Turtle Doves are shy creatures and tend to stay away from human habitats.

Size

They vary in size depending on the species. The Crowned Pigeon of New Guinea is the largest species and can be the size a turkey, while the New World Ground-Dove is approximately the same size as a house sparrow.

Turtle Doves are slightly smaller than the other doves. They can range from 24-29 cm (9.4-11 in) in length to 47-55 cm (19-22 in) in wingspan.

Weight

Doves can weigh anywhere from 4 kg (8.8 lbs) to 22 g (0.05 lb) depending on the species.

Turtle Doves usually weight between 85–170 g (3.0–6.0 oz).

Appearance

The Columbidae usually have short bills and legs, small heads on large bodies. They are known for their head bobbing. They have large wings and low wing loading. The plumage of these birds varies region to region, species to species.

Turtle Doves have a deep brown color with a black and white striped patch on their neck. They have a wedged-shaped tail with a dark center and white borders and tips. The abdomen and the under-tail coverts are white in color. They have a black bill and red eyes and legs.

Behavior

Doves have been known to be intelligent creatures and have also been included in many comparative psychology experiments. They are also gentle and mild creatures that are easy to domesticate. The doves and pigeons are also often found in large flocks that may have anywhere from 50-500 birds.

Doves are migratory birds and are often found in various places in the summer, while in other places in the winter. They are shy creatures that like to stay away from human habitats.

Diet

Doves depend mainly on seeds and fruits, while some species also prey on insects, reptiles, worms, snails, moths, etc.

Turtle Doves are omnivores but mainly feed on seeds, berries, cereals, and grasses.

Mating

The male dove often puffs his feathers and then struts in front of the female, he is trying to impress. In addition to following the female, the male also emits small repetitive sounds and often bows and turns as he comes closer. Once the female allows the male into her proximity, the male mounts the female and mates. Doves often mate for life.

Mating season is from May-July. The male dove often puffs his feathers and then struts in front of the female, he is trying to impress. In addition to following the female, the male also emits small repetitive sounds and often bows and turns as he comes closer. Once the female allows the male into her proximity, the male mounts the female and mates. Doves often mate for life.

Reproduction

At one time a pair of doves may birth one-two eggs. The squab (nestling) is tended to both the male and the female and the fledging period lasts about 30 days before the nestling can fly on its own.

A pair of Doves lay one or two white eggs in one clutch. Both parents are involved in the incubation as well as upbringing of the fledging. Incubation lasts 14 days, while fledging period lasts another 14 days. A pair of Doves has two to three clutches per mating season.

Predators

Doves are often prey for raptorial birds. They are also hunted by humans for food and ritual purposes.

As an egg, the young doves are prey to magpies, jays and crows. While as adults, they are often hunted as game.

Domestication

Due to their gentle nature, doves have been easy creatures to domesticate.

Turtle Doves are shy and timid creatures and tend to stay away from the human habitats. However, because of their nature. they are often easy to domesticate.

Conservation status

Least Concern

Least Concern

Population

Many species of the Columbidae family has been known to thrive under the humans and it has become easier for them to acquire food and other necessary requirement for surviving. Due to their growing population, humans have had to take some precaution measures to keep the population in check. Measures include reducing food supply, Avian contraceptives and dummy egg nesting.

However, certain dove species have shown a decline in population due to hunting and loss of natural food.

Certain dove species such as turtle doves have shown a decline in population due to hunting, loss of habitat and scarcity of food.

Representation

Doves are often used to represent a symbol of peace as well as the spirit in a biblical sense. They are also used as symbols for freedom and set free on certain occasions.

Turtle Doves are used as a symbol of devoted love as they mate for life. They have also been featured in the Christmas song, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.

 

 

Image Courtesy: chaircoversoflansing.com

Image Courtesy: telegraph.co.uk

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