Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Ring-necked Dove (Streptopelia capicola)


French: Tourterelle du Cap German: Gurrtaube Spanish: Tórtola de El Cabo
Other common names: Cape Turtle-dove

Columbam vinaceam var. capicolam

[sic] Sundevall

, 1857,

Rondebosch, Cape Province


Closely related to S. vinacea; extensive hybridization in contact zone on E shore of L Albert (W Uganda)#R#R. Other proposed races include hilgerti (N Somalia), anceps (C Tanzania), dryas (L Kivu, in E DRCongo), bailunduensis (WC Angola) and abunda (KwaZulu Natal). Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. c. electa (Madarász, 1913) – W Ethiopia.
  • S. c. somalica (Erlanger, 1905) – E & SE Ethiopia, Somalia and N Kenya S to R Uaso Nyiro.
  • S. c. tropica (Reichenow, 1902) – SW Ethiopia and C Kenya to Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
  • S. c. onguati Macdonald, 1957 – SW Angola and N Namibia.
  • S. c. damarensis (Hartlaub & Finsch, 1870) – Namibia, Botswana and SW Zimbabwe.
  • S. c. capicola (Sundevall, 1857) – W South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    25 cm; 106–200 g. Differs from S. vinacea in bluish grey crown, and also in darker underwing. Forehead and face light bluish grey, crown darker than face, a... read more


    Advertising call a continuously repeated, fairly high-pitched phrase comprising a short note... read more


    Thrives in woodland and open wooded savanna; also frequents plantations and farmland, and regularly... read more

    Food and feeding

    Essentially a seed-eater but also takes a variety of invertebrates including aphids, locust nymphs, earthworms, termites and weevils;... read more


    Season varies locally, but breeding has been recorded in all months in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Pairs occupy breeding territories of c. 0... read more


    Ringing studies indicate that most individuals are sedentary; however, from about Sept to late Jan... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Abundant throughout much of sizeable range; call is one of commonest and most typical sounds of African savanna. Species probably increasing its... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Ring-necked Dove (Streptopelia capicola). 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 21 January 2020).