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The Cape turtle dove

1 October 2014

www.leopard.tvThe high-pitched, crooning call of the Cape turtle dove Streptopelia capicola is characteristic of South Africa because it occurs from the most arid to the wetter eastern regions. Nevertheless, it never calls when it rains of there is a strong wind and is therefore a call that symbolizes peace and tranquillity. The Cape turtle dove was first described scientifically in 1857 by Sundevall as Columban vinaceum var capicolum based on a specimen from Rondebosch in Cape Town and the specific epithet capicola is Latin for an inhabitant of the Cape. Yet it occurs over all of Africa and is only absent from true deserts such as the Sahara and Namib Deserts.

The Cape turtle dove is a small dove of 26 to 28 cm and weighs around 150 g and the sexes look alike. The head and back are grey-blue with a pinkish tint on the nape and a distinct narrow, black collar behind the neck. It is pinkish to lavender or lavender-grey... (Become a subscriber for more)

Reference:

Hockey, P A R, W R J Dean and P G Ryan (Eds) 2005. Roberts – Birds of southern Africa, seventh edition. Cape Town: The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, pp 284 - 286.

 

Article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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