Turtle dove bird is a slim dove with fairly long, pointed wings and a swift, dashing flight. The head and underparts of turtle dove bird are pale pinky-grey, and it has a bold pattern on the neck side comprising five bluish-white bars interspersed with four black ones, although these may vary. The most obvious plumage feature is the bright orange-rufous black-centred feathers on the mantle and lesser coverts, with a pale grey-blue panel on the greater coverts. The tail is boldly marked, with a white terminal band, a black sub-terminal band on the upperside and more extensive black on the underside. It has a patch of bare dark red skin surrounding the eye.
Turtle dove bird is a summer visitor that spends the winter in sub-Saharan Africa. It favours dry, sunny and sheltered lowlands, breeding in open deciduous woodlands with rich undergrowth, open country with mature hedges and scattered trees, copses and forest edge, commonly in cultivated areas with dry open patches. It generally avoids human habitation. Much decreased in Britain since the 1980s, and heavily hunted while on passage through Mediterranean countries. Generally shy in its habits.
The song of turtle dove bird is one of the evocative sounds of a summer's day in the countryside, and traditionally described as a "tur-tur", as per the bird's scientific name. It is a deep, hard purring sound, between 570-620Hz, typically in three-syllable phrases (although often just two syllables), and repeated for 3-12 phrases at a time. The longer first syllable rises slightly, the others are level, such as "crrrrrr 'orrr 'orrr', crrrrrr 'orrr 'orrr', crrrrrr 'orrr 'orrr', crrrrr 'orrr 'orrr", or "rrrrrr-rrrr-rrr", etc. It can also give a faster and more hurried version of this song, delivered by the male directly towards the female in a bobbing display. It also has a short popping call, given in excitement.