Photo: Turtle doves making use of supplementary food at a site in Sussex. Supplementary feeding provides turtle doves with a vital food source when seeds in the countryside are hard to come by.

Making progress with turtle dove conservation in 2019

As turtle doves prepare for their long journey south for the winter, we’re celebrating the hard work that has gone on this year into making sure that these birds have places to feed, drink and nest during their time here in the UK.

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Photo: Researchers count migrating birds as they pass the Point de Grave watchpoint. Credit: Anaelle Bissonnet

Looking out for turtle doves in France

Turtle doves are now back on their breeding grounds in East Anglia and south-east England, feeding up and raising their chicks. Earlier this spring though, they crossed agricultural land, desert and seas in their travels. One site in France is renowned for being a great place to witness turtle dove migration in action. Jeremy Dupuy from the Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (BirdLife in France) can tell us more about it.

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Photo: Turtle dove perched on wire. Credit: Jonny Rankin

Hinterland - Garden

In the final instalment of Jonny Rankin’s series on ‘hinterland’ habitats for turtle doves, he celebrates the garden.

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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 94% 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

Making progress with turtle dove conservation in 2019

August 16, 2019
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Looking out for turtle doves in France

June 24, 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