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


Sydney Birds and Where to Find Them, Peter Roberts. Sydney Birds and Where to Find Them, Peter Roberts. The 30 top bird-watching localities in and around Sydney. These birding hot spots stretch from Tuggerah Lakes on the Central Coast to Lake Illawarra near Wollongong and from the Blue Mountains in the west to some surprisingly accessible sites tucked away in the heart of the city. Each locality entry lists the key species to look out for including rare and seasonal visitors. It describes how to access the location, and what amenities to expect; maps are featured. There is also a handy list of Sydney birds, each entry providing information on the best spots to find it.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Click here to purchase from Australia (The Nile) $26.51 AUD

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond) Probably more expensive


Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson, Peter Trusler Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson, Peter Trusler.This is known to birdwatchers as "Simpson and Day". I like the pictures in this one the best out of all the major field guides. The information is still very highly regarded compared to most of the other guides. Many serious birdwatchers think "Pizzey and Knight" (listed here) is the best though. I bought this one since I liked the pictures so much I figured (correctly) that I would spend more time looking through it. I feel that I made the right choice since I love the pictures in this one so much. I have the 6th edition, the current one is the updated version of the 8th edition, which has a different colour cover to the original 8th edition with a black cover. I'm not sure why they haven't called this the 9th edition.

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Dymocks)

Click here to purchase 8th ed. updated version from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase 8th ed. original version from Amazon

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Spotted Turtle-Dove - Streptopelia chinensis

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