Turtle Dove perched on branch. Credit@: Dougal Urquhart.

Working with farmers to provide seed-rich feeding habitat for Turtle Doves

Mark Nowers, the RSPB’s Turtle Dove Conservation Adviser in Essex, sets out the importance of establishing autumn-sown seed plots for Turtle Doves.

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Turtle dove Streptopelia turtur, adult perched on stick

Taking action to save turtle doves

The 2021 Turtle Dove Survey results show that the population of turtle doves in the UK has reached a new low. All is not lost however, as we explain in this blog that showcases how a range of people are taking action to save turtle doves in the UK and on the flyway.

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Turtle dove in a sunflower crop, Andalucía, Spain - Vincent Esteller

Big step in progress with ending unsustainable hunting of turtle doves

The RSPB’s Carles Carboneras and Guy Anderson report on a major development with turtle dove hunting in Spain.

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Photo: Suitable nesting habitat for turtle doves in England. They need open ground for feeding on seeds and thick, dense scrub and hedgerows for nesting. Credit: Tony Morris.

Managing land for turtle doves

Turtle doves are now making their long southward journeys to sub-Saharan Africa to spend the winter months. They may only have just left. But it’s not too early to start thinking about the things we can all do to provide them with feeding, nesting and drinking sites when they return next spring.

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Turtle Doves (Streptopelia turtur) have declined dramatically in the UK and reduced almost everywhere else in their European range.

However, we now know the key problems faced by Turtle Doves and what conservation action needs to be taken, and Operation Turtle Dove is optimistic that we can reverse the fortunes of this enigmatic and culturally significant bird.

You can play a part in their recovery.

Blog: Turtle Dove Talk

Working with farmers to provide seed-rich feeding habitat for Turtle Doves

August 31, 2022
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Taking action to save turtle doves

June 20, 2022
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How can I help turtle doves on my land?

Providing habitat is a vital component of turtle dove conservation. If you farm or manage land, there are a number of ways in which you can help support the species and benefit your rural business while doing so. Options can include:

How to see a turtle dove

Turtle doves are in the UK – predominantly the east and south east of England -from April to September every year. Here are some ways you can get involved:

Ways you can help


Your shopping choices can help give turtle doves a home

Create habitat

You can provide turtle doves with habitat they need on your farm or in your garden

Log a sighting

Seen a turtle dove? Log your sighting on Birdtrack


Your donation will help us to save this iconic bird from extinction in the UK