Australian Bush Birds
Laughing Turtle-dove  -  Streptopelia senegalensis
Laughing Turtle-dove
The Laughing Turtle-dove is an introduced species which has settled into south-western Australia, especially the wheatbelt
Laughing Turtle-dove
This species appears mainly tinted red from above.
map map The Laughing Turtle-dove or Laughing Dove - Streptopelia senegalensis - is reddish-fawn in colour with grey washed head and neck and a dark speckled deep-buff band across the lower throat. Shoulders and wings are blue-grey. Shading to white on the abdomen. Upper side of the tail is grey-brown grading to black with broad white tips on the outer feathers. Eye is brown; eye-ring grey with red edge. Bill is dark grey-brown. Legs and feet red-purple. 250 to 270 millimetres.

Male and female similar in appearance. Immature birds are dull brown and tawny grey, no collar. Eye light brown, bill dark grey. Feet pink-red with dark claws.

Laughing Turtledove - page 2
Like the Spotted Turtle-dove (also introduced) Laughing Turtle-doves are grain-eaters feeding on the ground; they thrive on waste, particularly grains and protein pellets put out for domestic and zoo animals; as well as bread and garden seed.

Introduced to Australia in the Perth Zoological Gardens in 1898, it has become established in southwest Western Australia from Perth through the wheat belt to about Southern Cross, south to Albany and north to Shark Bay, with outlying populations in Kalgoorlie and Esperance. Inhabits urban areas, country town, parks, gardens, farms, rail yards and roadsides especially in the WA wheat belt. Follows spilled grain along roads and rail lines.

Breeds all year especially after rain, mostly September to March. The nest is a frail platform of fine sticks and twigs about 150 mm in diameter placed anywhere but usually in trees and bushes. Two eggs are laid; white, oval, about 29 by 23 mm. Incubated for 14 to 16 days by both parents. Young stay in the nest for 21 days.

Native range of this bird includes all of Africa, Arabia, India, Afghanistan as well as occurrences in the Middle East; there are nine races worldwide, one in Australia. The Australian birds appear to be descended from east Africa south of the Sahara.