Spotted Turtle-Dove - Streptopelia chinensis

Spotted Turtle-Dove (Introduced)

Streptopelia chinensis

Family: Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves, 25 species in Australia)
Size: 32 cm
Distribution: Within about 100 km of the coasts of NSW, VIC, QLD (except far North), Eastern SA and the SW tip of WA.
Status: Abundant
Habitat: Cities, suburban gardens, parks, established grain-growing areas of coastal, Eastern Australia
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The Spotted Turtle-Dove is a kind of pigeon, however not as "gross" as the common Feral Pigeon. It has an easily recognisable "coo coooo", or "coo cooooo coo" kind of call which (like most bird calls) is much easier to hear than to read. It raises and lowers its tail on alighting.

The black-with-white-spots area on the back of the Spotted Turtle-Dove's neck makes it easy to recognise.

Birdwatchers call the Spotted Turtle-Dove the "STD".

Spotted Turtle-Dove - Streptopelia chinensis
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

The photo below shows a baby Spotted Turtle-Dove that had lost its parents.

Spotted Turtle-Dove - Streptopelia chinensis
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Some Birdwatching Resources


Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe. Based on the above larger book. It's a while since I've seen this one. The publisher's commentary says that "This slimline, compact edition contains the same information on mainland and Tasmanian birds as his best-selling handbook, the Field Guide to Australian Birds. Features include plastic jacket, QuickFind system of colour tags and Quick Index ensure durability and ease of use in the field."

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)


The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight. This is the other of the two best bird field guides for Australia. It is the one preferred by many serious birdwatchers. However I find the pictures a bit dull looking for my taste — the birds all kind of look the same to me, making it harder to remember them in my mind. The illustrations are meant to be the most anatomically correct, though. The text descriptions are better than in Simpson and Day. If you want the most serious bird field guide get this one otherwise get Simpson and Day.

Purchase 9th ed. from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase 9th ed. from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Click here to purchase 9th ed. from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to preorder the 9th ed. from Amazon

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
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