Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Oriental Turtle-dove (Streptopelia orientalis)


French: Tourterelle orientale German: Orientturteltaube Spanish: Tórtola oriental
Other common names: Rufous Turtle-dove

Columba orientalis


, 1790,



Related to S. turtur, S. lugens and S. hypopyrrha. Substantial vocal differences reported between Himalayan and N Asian populations, and more than one species may be involved#R. Race orii sometimes lumped into orientalis. Proposed races khasiana (Meghalaya) and meridionalis (Assam) included in agricola; sylvicola in erythrocephala. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. o. meena (Sykes, 1832) – S part of W Siberia to W Altai, S to Turkestan, Afghanistan, Kashmir and Himalayas E to C Nepal. Breeding range extends marginally into W Palearctic in the Ural mts#R. Winters mainly in India and Sri Lanka.
  • S. o. orientalis (Latham, 1790) – C Siberia through Transbaikalia, Amurland and Sakhalin to Kuril Is, Japan and Korea, and S through much of China to Himalayas, N Assam, Yunnan, Guangdong, Hainan and N Vietnam; winters in S & E Asia.
  • S. o. stimpsoni (Stejneger, 1887) – Ryukyu Is (Amami-Oshima S to Senkaku Is).
  • S. o. orii Yamashina, 1932 – Taiwan.
  • S. o. erythrocephala (Bonaparte, 1855) – peninsular India (mainly C India and also Western and N Eastern Ghats).
  • S. o. agricola (Tickell, 1833) – NE India (Bihar, Odisha, Bengal, S Assam) E to Myanmar (S to Tenasserim) and SC China (W Yunnan, Hainan).
  • Descriptive notes

    33–35 cm; 165–274 g. Forehead bluish grey merging into brownish grey with a rufous wash on nape and pinkish on face; throat pale buff merging into greyish pink on... read more


    Advertising call a four-note rhythmic phrase repeated incessantly in a continuous series. Phrase... read more


    Occupies a wide variety of habitats ranging from boreal to tropical forests. In Japan, frequents... read more

    Food and feeding

    Raids paddyfields, and also feeds on cereals and pine seeds; also herbs, bamboo shoots and green shoots of various plants. In former USSR,... read more


    Season prolonged, May–Aug in N parts of range, Nov–Feb in S India. In India builds a typically flimsy dove nest of twigs placed... read more


    Populations of N Asia from Siberia to Japan and Kuril Is migrate S to winter in S & E Asia from... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and generally common throughout extensive range covering most of Asia, though quantatitive data lacking; expanding into... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Oriental Turtle-dove (Streptopelia orientalis). 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 11 December 2019).