Pigeons and Doves (Columbidae)

European Turtle-dove (Streptopelia turtur) - HBW 4, p. 133

French: Tourterelle des bois German: Turteltaube Spanish: Tórtola Europea
Other common names: Common Turtle-dove; Isabelline Turtle-dove (rufescens)

Taxonomy: Columba Turtur Linnaeus, 1758, India; error = England.
Related to S. lugens, S. hypopyrrha and S. orientalis. Birds of Nile Valley and Faiyûm have been separated as race isabellina, but claimed differences with rufescens probably sexual; in addition, males of this zone may be dimorphic. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • turtur (Linnaeus, 1758) - C & S Britain E to Poland and N Russia, S to N Mediterranean coast, and on through Asia Minor and Syria to Kazakhstan and W Siberia; also Madeira and Canary Is.
  • arenicola (Hartert, 1894) - Morocco E to Tripoli, and from Iraq and Iran E through Afghanistan, Turkestan and Kirghiz Steppes to NW China.
  • hoggara (Geyr von Schweppenburg, 1916) - Hoggar and Aïr Massifs in S Sahara.
  • rufescens (C. L. Brehm, 1855) - Dakhla and Kharga Oases in Egypt, as well as Faiyûm and parts of Nile Delta.