Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
the general name for several genera of birds of the order Columbiformes.
Turtledoves differ from other doves in their small size (body length, 14–30 cm), the absence of a metallic tinge to the colors, and the presence of a “collar” or dark patches on the neck; the tail is long. Turtledoves are widely distributed, although they are not found as far north as other doves. In the USSR they are represented by a single genus, comprising five species: the common turtledove (Streptopelia turtur), the oriental turtledove (S. orientalis), the palm dove (S. senegalensis), the ringdove (S. decaocto), and the short-tailed dove (S. tranquebarica). The common turtledove is the most widely distributed, found in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. In the USSR it is found in the European part (to 60° N lat), in Western Siberia, and in Middle Asia. It is more numerous in the southern parts of its area of distribution. The turtledove is a migratory bird. It builds its nests in trees and bushes. It feeds on the seeds of weeds and cultivated plants. The palm dove is nonmigratory and lives in the populated areas of Middle Asia.