The back is characterized by a remarkable brown scale pattern. The birds are often seen in couples. The male sings in a low tone: “De de popoo.” The song is also used to call females and declare territory, as other birds also do. When a male chases a female or indicates its nest, it cries: “Kur kur.”
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The Oriental Turtle Dove and the Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon in Japan) are among the most commonly seen doves and pigeons. While most small birds feed their chicks with nutrient-rich insects, pigeons feed their young with milk (pigeon milk), which is produced in their bodies by eating seeds. This pigeon milk is fed by both females and males, which is one of the reasons why they're able to raise chicks at any time, and can breed several times a year and even in the fall and winter.
In Europe, a pair of turtle doves symbolizes a loving couple, while in Japan, Mandarin Ducks are viewed in a similar fashion because they are seen in pairs year-round. If you see three Oriental Turtle Doves together, it is likely a chick with its parents. Chicks can be identified because they either have no stripe pattern on the neck or one that is light in color.
They can be seen year-round on Japan's main island of Honshu and further south. In Hokkaido, however, the birds only stay during the summer, traveling elsewhere to spend the winter.
The Japanese name for Oriental Turtle Doves is Kiji-bato, which, literally translated, means “pheasant-pigeon.” (The Japanese word for pigeon is hato, pronounced here as bato.) The pheasant part of the name derives from its brown plumage, which resembles that of a female pheasant. But what about the pigeon part of the name? One theory is that their flapping wings make a sound like “hato hato.” Indeed, when they take off, their flapping wings create quite a loud sound, but not as loud as that of feral pigeons, which they use as a warning signal for others in the flock.
Generally, birds are unable to swallow water like mammals. They need to look skyward to swallow water. But pigeons can suck water with their head down.
Feral pigeons, which are often seen at parks and other places, derived from domestically bred pigeons that returned to the wild. While their body color often varies, their breasts are usually adorned with glossy green and purple plumage.