Turtle doves are one of the most graceful pigeons with their long neck, slender body structure and small head that is gray-blue in color. Their back is brown and their tail grayish; the edges of the feather have a reddish-brown tinge. They display a patch of black feathers with pale blue tip at the neck plumage. The center of the feathers is nearly white. The younger birds display pale colors as compared to the adult.
Turtle doves primarily consume fruits and seeds. They generally forage on the ground and rarely eat small leaves or buds, snails, slugs and certain invertebrates. The forest doves eat some species of tree pests as well as caterpillars.
If you grow turtle doves as pets you can feed a seed mixture containing sunflower seeds that is shelled, safflower seeds, finch seeds as well as wild bird seeds. Avoid feeding cracked corn as the sharp edges of the pieces can tear their throat.
Some birds love soft foods. Occasionally, you can feed raw carrots that are finely grated along with steamed rice. Other recommended foods include hard-boiled eggs, crushed raw peanuts, millet spray and mealworms. Ensure that the quantity of mealworms is not in excess. This is because mealworms are rich in protein. Excessive protein can result in serious liver problems in the birds.
Turtle doves move in flocks during daytime. They roost in the night. The morning begins with their chorus calls when the entire flock goes in search of their food and water. Unlike most birds that sip water, turtle doves suck water by dipping their beak.
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