Want to see a Turtle Dove?

Read on to find out how to identify a turtle dove and where you should go to have the best chance of spotting one.

When you do see a turtle dove, don’t forget to report your sighting as this helps us to target our conservation work to where it is needed the most.

How to identify a turtle dove

The turtle dove is a dainty dove, smaller and darker than the collared dove and slightly larger than a blackbird. Its upperparts are distinctively mottled with chestnut and black and its black tail has a white edge.

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Where and when to see turtle doves

In the UK, turtle doves are now mainly a bird of southern and eastern England although their range does extend further north and west. Best looked for in woodland edges, hedgerows and open land with scattered bushes.

Turtle doves visit England for the breeding season, arriving in late April and May and leaving again between July and September.

Visit an RSPB reserve or see the captive breeding flock of turtle doves at Pensthorpe Natural Park.

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