Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Red Turtle-dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica)


French: Tourterelle à tête grise German: Zwerglachtaube Spanish: Tórtola cabecigrís
Other common names: Red Collared-dove

Columba tranquebarica


, 1804,

Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu, India


A very distinctive species, previously linked with the S. decaocto group, but apparently closer to S. bitorquata#R. Birds of E Himalaya formerly separated as race murmensis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. t. tranquebarica (Hermann, 1804) – Sind and Punjab E to W Nepal, Bihar and Bengal, and S through peninsular India.
  • S. t. humilis (Temminck, 1824) – NE Tibet, Nepal, NE India (Sikkim and Assam) and Andaman Is to Myanmar, Thailand and Indochina and on to N China, Taiwan and N Philippines.
  • Also Peninsular Malaysia#R and Sulawesi#R, where presumed to have been introduced.

    Descriptive notes

    20·5–23 cm; 104 g. Head bluish grey, merging into whitish grey above bill and in front of half-collar spanning hindneck; throat whitish; mantle, upper back, wing... read more


    Advertising call a continuously repeated three- or four-note phrase, with pause between phrases... read more


    Inhabits open country with trees, scrub, jungle and dry woodland. Unlike its Asian congeners, it is... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on seeds of grasses and herbs, as well as cultivated seeds, including rice and maize, buds and young leaves. Most if not all food... read more


    S populations breed when food is available; N populations await the favourable conditions of summer. Nest is a skimpy saucer or platform of... read more


    N populations migratory, most birds moving to S Asia for winter. In Pakistan, present only in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to relatively abundant in some areas. Abundant in Pakistan, mainly in Punjab; not uncommon in Andaman Is; very common in Thailand; fairly... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Red Turtle-dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica). 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).