Oriental Turtle Dove in Japan

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Japan Oriental Turtle Dove

In August of 2023, I finally managed to make my summer trip to Osaka and here is the beautiful Oriental Turtle Dove in Japan, which I have always wanted to photograph. Well, this was the best I could manage with my Canon R7.

Oriental Turtle Dove in Japan

While walking in Nara to see the famous free-roaming deer, I stumbled upon a nice little creek where the deer were seen hanging around, drinking from the creek, and some of them just lying in the summer shade.

It was really hot during early August, with an average of almost 38 degrees Celcius here in Nara. Even the deer knew how hot it was, but that did not stop the tourists from coming here, all in the name of seeking out the famous Nara ‘Bowing’ deer.

While observing the few deer in the creek, I noticed a bird walking around the creek, avoiding the direct summer sun. I pulled out my Canon R7 paired with an RF100-500mm and took a closer look. It was indeed the Oriental Turtle Dove, a bird I have yet to photograph.

Nara Oriental Turtle Dove
The beautiful dove at the creek in Nara.

While researching further, I found that the Japanese name for Oriental Turtle Doves is Kiji-bato, which, literally translated, means “pheasant-pigeon”. In contrast, the Japanese word for pigeon is hato, pronounced as bato. The pheasant part of the name derives from its brown plumage, which resembles a female pheasant.


While this is not my first time seeing the Oriental Turtle Dove in Japan, it is my first time getting a decent photograph and a video. To view my video of this beautiful dove, please check out my Birdwatching Asia YouTube channel.

About Bird Watching Asia

Bird Watching Asia is a self-funded project to promote bird watching in Malaysia and around Asia.

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