I have since had he pleasure and not pleasure of seeing and hearing Turtle doves. The first occasion was in Malta, as the very first Turtle dove I saw was shot out of the sky. Luckily however since this I have watched and listened adoringly to these gorgeous birds in Wiltshire and Dorset.
And a project update. Operational Turtle Dove continues. Doves have since been tagged and their migration route through Africa is a better understood. It is still legal to shoot this endangered bird though here in Europe. Which continues to baffle me.
… Two Turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
But have you ever seen a Turtle dove? I have not. The dainty dove that purrs and turrs. Our only dove that migrates for the winter (to Africa).
So why are they disappearing? Well, here in England and Wales, the dove’s most northerly range, we keep changing farming methods, crops, and timings. To the extent that theres not enough food for them to raise their young. And to top that, those that do survive starvation face being shot en-masse as they fly south, over Europe, to Africa.
This purring tur-turring dove is in real dire straits. Numbers are declining so rapidly that they are facing likely extinction here in the UK, and very soon.
So what are we doing about it? Operation Turtle Dove is a partnership of wildlife organisations working hard…
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