Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Emerald-spotted Wood-dove (Turtur chalcospilos)


French: Tourtelette émeraudine German: Bronzeflecktaube Spanish: Palomita aliverde
Other common names: Green-spotted Wood-dove

Columba Chalcospilos


, 1827,

eastern Cape Province, South Africa


Closely related to T. abyssinicus, with which has been considered conspecific. In S Africa, W populations formerly treated as race volkmanni (paler) and E ones as zambesiensis (darker), but variation is clinal#R, although this sometimes disputed#R. Likewise, patetus (S Somalia; a new name for somalicus) is considered untenable. Monotypic.


SE South Sudan, Ethiopia and NW Somalia S through E Africa to N Namibia, N Botswana and South Africa (S to Eastern Cape); also from coastal Gabon S to SW Angola.

Descriptive notes

20 cm; 50–71 g. Forehead white or pale grey becoming bluish grey on crown; narrow black line from the gape to eye; sides of neck and underparts light pinkish mauve;... read more


Advertising call is a plaintive cooing phrase lasting c. 12 seconds with a distinct cadence,... read more


Frequents savanna woodland, deciduous woodland thickets, acacia savanna, lowland riparian and... read more

Food and feeding

Although it perches on trees, all foraging is done on ground, where species takes small seeds, herbs and grasses, and some invertebrates (e... read more


Laying dates: Apr–Jun and Nov in Ethiopia; principally May–Jun in E Africa but with wide scatter of records to Mar and Dec; Feb... read more


Generally sedentary, although some local movements in response to weather conditions have been... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to abundant throughout most of its sizeable range. Fairly catholic taste in habitat, and often found in suburbs and gardens, indicating... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Emerald-spotted Wood-dove (Turtur chalcospilos). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).