Xavier Romero-Frias [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Turtle Doves – A species inspiring art and creativity

Turtle doves have featured in artwork since the 13th century. A symbol of true love, its call was celebrated in the bible. As a symbol of hope and peace, turtle doves were referred to in twelfth century writings.

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Turtle dove foraging in field

Supplementary feeding for turtle doves

Find out more about providing supplementary food for turtle doves for when they return to the UK in spring. This will help to ensure adult birds are able to get into good breeding condition and will help to bridge the gap when native wildflower seed is scarce at the start of their breeding season.

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Turtle doves (Streptopelia turtur) are in trouble; they are vulnerable to global extinction (IUCN Red List of Endangered Species). They have suffered a 91% UK population decline since 1995 and a 78% decline across Europe since 1980. At this current rate of change if we don’t help this species scientists calculate that complete UK extinction as a breeding species will be a real possibility.

Operation Turtle Dove has an important and urgent mission to reverse the fortunes of this enigmatic and culturally significant bird. Please help us to save them.

Blog: Turtle Dove Talk

Share the love for turtle doves: the volunteer

February 13, 2019
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Share the love for turtle doves: in the Netherlands

February 13, 2019
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How can I help turtle doves on my land?

Providing habitat is a vital component of turtle dove conservation. If you farm or manage land, there are a number of ways in which you can help support the species and benefit your rural business while doing so. Options can include:

How to see a turtle dove

Turtle doves are in the UK – predominantly the east and south east of England -from April to September every year. Here are some ways you can get involved:

Ways you can help


Your shopping choices can help give turtle doves a home

Create habitat

You can provide turtle doves with habitat they need on your farm or in your garden

Log a sighting

Seen a turtle dove? Tell us about it and log your sighting at Birdtrack


Your donation will help us to save this iconic bird from extinction in the UK