Two Turtle Doves

While our local inhabitants are Mourning Doves, seeing this pair on our shed roof this morning reminded me of the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

On the second day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree!

What exactly is a Turtle Dove?

According to the website Operation Turtle Dove:

Turtle doves are the only long distance migratory dove species in Europe, with their more common relatives such as the collared dove and wood pigeon staying in the UK year-round. They complete annual migrations from their breeding grounds, leaving in mid-late summer, through western Europe to their wintering grounds in West Africa; they typically return to their breeding grounds during April.


Unlike the ‘coo-ah, coo, coo, coo’ call of our Mourning Doves, Turtle Doves have a turrr-turrr-ing call. This pair was just trying to stay warm on a frosty 25-degree-F (-3.9C) morning!

Another major difference is that Turtle Doves are threatened with global extinction.
Source: Climate Reality Project

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