Back and rump cinereous brown; a black space on the sides of the neck; tip of the tail white.
C. Turtur, Temm. Man. dOrn. torn. n. p. 448. Id. Pig. et Gall. torn. i. p. 305. Turtle-Dove, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 413. pl. 56. f. 2. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. p. 312.
Entire length eleven inches three lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) eight lines, (from the gape) ten lines; of the tarsus ten lines; of the tail four inches four lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing six inches nine lines: breadth, wings extended, twenty inches.
Head and nape cinereous, with a tinge of vinaceous red; on each side of the neck a patch of black feathers tipped with grayish white; back and rump cinereous brown; inside and edge of the wings bluish ash; greater quills brownish black; secondaries bluish gray; scapulars and wing-coverts ferruginous brown inclining to rust-red, with a black spot in the middle of each feather: fore part of the neck and breast pale vinaceous; belly and under tail-coverts pure white: the two middle tail-feathers wholly brown; the rest bluish black, tipped with white; the outer one also white on the external web: bill brown: irides reddish orange: orbits and feet red. (Egg). White: rather more pointed than in any of the former species: long. diam. one inch two lines and a half; trans, diam. ten lines.
Var. p. Spotted-necked Turtle. Lath. Syn. vol. II. p. 645. Don. Brit. Birds, vol. VII. pl. 149. Characterized principally by having the whole side of the neck black, each feather having a round white spot near the extremity, instead of being tipped with white.
A migratory species, visiting this country in May, and departing at the approach of Autumn. Not generally diffused. Said to be most abundant in Kent and Buckinghamshire. Occurs sparingly in some of the eastern and western counties, but is rare northward. Frequents thick woods, and builds in trees, constructing a nest like that of the Ring-Dove, but smaller. Eggs two in number, laid about the middle of June. Utters a peculiar plaintive note during the breeding season, which is sometimes continued at intervals till near the middle of August. Food all kinds of grain and seeds. The Spotted-necked variety, first noticed by Dr Latham, appears to have been only met with in Buckinghamshire.
(2. Ectopistes, Swains).