|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Its peculiar peaceful and gentle habit its often referred to in Scripture. A pair was offered in sacrifice by Mary at her purification (Luke 2:24). The pigeon and the turtle-dove were the only birds permitted to be offered in sacrifice (Leviticus 1:14; 5:7; 14:22; 15:14, 29, etc.). The Latin name of this bird, turtur, is derived from its note, and is a repetition of the Hebrew name tor. Three species are found in Palestine, (1) the turtle-dove (Turtur auritus), (2) the collared turtle (T. risorius), and (3) the palm turtle (T. Senegalensis). But it is to the first of these species which the various passages of Scripture refer. It is a migratory bird (Jeremiah 8:7; Cant. 2:11, 12). "Search the glades and valleys, even by sultry Jordan, at the end of March, and not a turtle-dove is to be seen. Return in the second week of April, and clouds of doves are feeding on the clovers of the plain. They overspread the whole face of the land." "Immediately on its arrival it pours forth from every garden, grove, and wooded hill its melancholy yet soothing ditty unceasingly from early dawn till sunset. It is from its plaintive and continuous note, doubtless, that David, pouring forth his heart's sorrow to God, compares himself to a turtle-dove" (Psalm 74:19).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) Any one of numerous species of pigeons belonging to Turtur and allied genera, native of various parts of the Old World; especially, the common European species (Turtur vulgaris), which is noted for its plaintive note, affectionate disposition, and devotion to its mate.
2. (n.) Any one of several species of pigeons more or less resembling the true turtledoves, as the American mourning dove (see under Dove), and the Australian turtledove (Stictopelia cuneata).
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Turtledove (5 Occurrences)
Genesis 15:9 He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." (WEB KJV NAS RSV)
Leviticus 12:6 "'When the days of her purification are completed, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door of the Tent of Meeting, a year old lamb for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering: (WEB KJV NAS RSV)
Psalms 74:19 O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever. (KJV NAS)
Song of Songs 2:12 The flowers appear on the earth. The time of the singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. (WEB NAS RSV)
Jeremiah 8:7 Yes, the stork in the sky knows her appointed times; and the turtledove and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but my people don't know Yahweh's law. (WEB NAS RSV)