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There wild turtledove it is such a common bird that few know that there are different kinds of it. There is the common dove and then the oriental dove that can also be defined as "with collar", a term that already makes us understand one of its characteristics.
The wild is a bird to protect in our areas because although well-known and also rather loved, it struggles to find its spaces since its habitat is always endangered and damaged by man and his activities that are not always respectful of the environment.
Turtle dove or common
Its scientific name is "Streptopelia turtur”And it's a little bird that lives all along our peninsula. It may happen that, especially if you live in the northern areas, towards the cold season you emigrate to Africa and then return to Italy as soon as the climate becomes warmer. In this period it nests everywhere, except in the Alps and some Apulian areas.
Its preferred habitat is that of fields and in general of all those countryside areas where it can find trees in which to nest. With the continuous and unstoppable anthropization of the territory in progress, the wild turtledove ended up being less wild. This means that it has also started to frequent the suburbs of the city, choosing those areas where it has managed to find green areas. Over the years she has worked and then got used to living even on small ones plants of terraces and balconies where a bit of calm reigns. If she then finds someone who is fond of her and feeds her with grains, she makes it, she can also become familiar with the human being even if she always maintains a very discreet attitude. Between Columbidae he remains the one who least fraternizes with man and will never go to live in the center of busy cities.
Males weigh a little more than females but this is really a minimal difference since the former range from 140 to 146 grams and the latter from 138 to 143 grams. The length is approx 30 centimeters. It is easy to recognize a common dove due to its plumage: it has a pink breast, a whitish belly and a red colored rump with brown streaks. The neck is simply streaked with black and white.
The diet of this graceful little bird is based on seeds such as white thistle, millet, kale and sorghum, but also of fruit and invertebrates. In fact, it can happen that you eat rapeseed, radish, fennel but also small molluscs. The breeding period begins in the spring and by September manages to do two broods laying at most two eggs hatched by both the female and the male and which hatch after two weeks. The young begin to fly after 15-20 days, feeding on their own, learning to emit the terrible sound that many know if they have a dove as a neighbor: a whining series “Turrr turrr”.
Raising a turtle dove is a rather difficult thing to do because they have a very varied diet and it is not easy to keep up with it. It takes one vast aviary in which to grow the young for at least 2 months before letting them free. Adults need large spaces and some shelter with feeders and water reserves.
Eastern turtle dove or with collar
This bird, it is immediately clear, lives on the Asian continent from west Siberia to east in Manchuria and Japan, south from southern India to Indochina. It can withstand very different climates, both the wet one of the southern tropical forests and the cold one of the northern boreal forests. Think that it also lives at 4000 meters above sea level, in Nepal.
Its average length is slightly greater than that of its western sister, reaching a maximum of 32 cm for a weight of about 180 grams. The appearance is similar to that of the common turtle dove, it is the size that changes. The color of the plumage of the oriental is then darker on the wings and tending to brown or pink on the rest of the body. Eyes can also be orange and golden yellow, dark pink or red legs. The call is another distinctive element between the two doves, the eastern one is less insistent.
The diet of the oriental dove is based on seeds and sprouts but also on berries, herbs, insects and other small invertebrates. The breeding period is spring and summer but in this case the turtle dove can lay eggs all year round, always 2 eggs at a time to hatch for two weeks, and then with another 3 weeks the young are ready to take flight. The nests are usually on trees but can also be made on metal pylons, scaffolding, canopies, etc.
Turtledoves are diurnal animals and they are not afraid of man, they have become accustomed to living together and often frequent public gardens like other birds such as sparrows and robins. They can also be bred but you need to get an aviary
Turtledove in music
Finally, a small musical digression for this little bird that also appears in a wonderful work such as "The Four Seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi. At bar 58 of the score of his Summer concert he inserted the words "LA TORTORELLA", while in the sonnet accompanying the concert there is the line that says "Canta la tortorella", from which it is deduced that from bar 58 of his Summer concert plays the song of the dove to music.