Turtur communis, Selby, Nat. Libr. Pigeons, pp. 153, 171 (1835) ; Blanf F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 42 ; Saunders, p. 485 ; Lilford, iv p. 93, pl. 42 ; Columba turtur, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 284 (1766) ; Naum vi. p. 233, Taf. 152 ; Hewitson, i. p. 275, pl. Ixvii. fig. 4 ; Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 246 ; (Salvadori), Cat, B. Br. Mus. xxi. p. 396 ; T. vulgaris, Eyton, Cat. B. B. p. 32 (1836) ; Dresser, vii. p. 39, pl. 462 ; T. auritus, G. R. Gray, List of G. of B. p. 38 (1840) ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 4.
Tourterelle, French ; Rola, Portug. ; Tortola, Span. ; Tortora, Ital. ; Turteltaube, Germ. ; Tortelduif, Dutch ; Turteldue, Dan. and Norweg. ; Turturdufva, Swed. ; Turturikyyhka, Finn. ; Gorlitza, Russ.
Male ad. (England). Head, neck, breast, and flanks bluish ash, the neck and breast washed with rosy vinous ; back brownish ash marked with reddish brown ; shoulders and most of wing-coverts blackish brown margined with bright rufous ; larger and external smallest coverts pale dove-blue ; rump dove-blue marked with brown ; upper tail-coverts and middle tail feathers clove-brown, the rest blackish brown tinged with blue and broadly tipped with white ; on each side of the neck four rows of black feathers tipped with white ; rest of under parts white ; beak brown ; legs coral-red ; iris reddish brown ; bare skin round the eye red. Culmen 0.8, wing 7.0, tail 4.8, tarsus 0.85 inch. Female similar, but rather smaller and duller. The young bird is browner and duller, and lacks the black and white bars on the sides of the neck.
Hab. Europe generally, north as a straggler to Northern Scandinavia ; Madeira and the Canaries ; Northern Africa in winter, south to Shoa ; Asia east to Yarkand and Kashgar. Is a migrant, arriving in England in May, leaving for the south early in the autumn, and in general habits is a timid bird, and frequents woods and groves.
Its note is a rough turr-turr, turr-turr, chiefly uttered in the warm weather, and its food consists of grain and seeds of various kinds. Its nest is a very slight platform of twigs, and is placed on a bush or a tree, and its eggs, 2 in number, are usually laid towards the end of May, and are pure, white, measuring about 1.20 by 0.91.
895. Turtur communis