• The smaller cousin of the dove, turtle doves have been added to the Global Endangered Species List. Only 3% of their 1970s population still exist in a few locations across the South and East of England.
  • The biggest concern in the UK has been habitat loss. Turtle doves love to nest in thick hedgerows and woody vegetation.  Over last few decades farmers have taken these down and replaced them with fencing, but are now working with conservationists to reintroduce hedgerows along the borders of their fields. Turtle doves migrate from West Africa, where they spend the Winter, and many are shot by hunters as they make their way across Southern Europe.

Grassland, heaths and moorlands, farmland, towns and gardens.

Grassland, heaths and moorlands, farmland, towns and gardens.

  • Feeding – turtle doves feed on seeds from wildflowers and spilt grains on farmland. They
    need open ground, preferable bare, to be able to find their food, so can benefit from
    gardeners leaving bird seed on the ground.
  • Ponds – turtle doves need water and so will drink from ponds with gentle inclines or
    shallow sections.
  • Nesting – turtle doves nest in thick woody vegetation that offers their young protection.
    Introducing wild areas that have dense scrub or bordering your land with hedgerows which
    make ideal habitats for nests.
  • Feeding – turtle doves feed on seeds from wildflowers and spilt grains on farmland. They need open ground, preferable bare, to be able to find their food, so can benefit from
    gardeners leaving bird seed on the ground.
  • Ponds – turtle doves need water and so will drink from ponds with gentle inclines or shallow sections.
  • Nesting – turtle doves nest in thick woody vegetation that offers their young protection. Introducing wild areas that have dense scrub or bordering your land with hedgerows which make ideal habitats for nests.