Turtle Doves on Otmoor

Post from Joe Harris (RSPB Otmoor Warden). Post originally appeared on RSPB Community pages.  

We are very lucky on Otmoor to have turtle doves breeding. The moor is probably one of the few places in the area where you can reliably see these birds. First thing in the morning, you can often see them feeding in the cattle pen area on Greenaways. We have been putting seed out for them here and this is not only giving them a good food source but also means that you can get great views. Even if you don’t see these wonderful birds you can often hear them purring from high perches (which we have purposefully left in the hedgerows) along the bridleway.

Turtle doves have declined 93% since the 1970s! This is a massive decline and so the RSPB in conjunction with other organisations are putting a lot of work into trying to fully understand why this decline has occurred (decreases in food plants and hunting being the main problems). A project called Operation Turtle Dove is currently running to address the turtle dove issue http://operationturtledove.org/.


Photo below taken by Peter Coombes