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


Birdsong, Don Stap Birdsong, Don Stap. From the promotional material: "Following one of the world's experts on birdsong from the woods of Martha's Vineyard to the tropical forests of Central America, Don Stap brings to life the quest to unravel an ancient mystery: Why do birds sing and what do their songs mean? We quickly discover that one question leads to another. Why does the chestnut-sided warbler sing one song before dawn and another after sunrise? Why does the brown thrasher have a repertoire of two thousand songs when the chipping sparrow has only one? And how is the hermit thrush able to sing a duet with itself, producing two sounds simultaneously to create its beautiful, flutelike melody?"

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase from Wilderness Awareness School $24.00 USD (May not work)


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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