Gross and microscopic testicular changes were seen in 11 out of 14 adult ringed turtle doves (Streptopelia risoria) given 4 x 110 mg lead shot orally and housed at either 21 +/- 1 C (lead-treated, LT) or 6 +/- 1 C (lead-treated, cold-exposed; LTCE). The testes of the LT and LTCE doves were yellower than the ivory-colored testes of the control doves. The testicular weight of the LT and LTCE doves was 0.557 +/- 0.117 g, (mean +/- standard error), whereas the testicular weight of the control doves was 1.064 +/- 0.161 g. The relative testicular weight (mg testes/100 g body weight) of the LT doves was lower (P less than or equal to 0.05) than that of the LTCE or control doves. Microscopic testicular changes of the LT and LTCE doves consisted primarily of degeneration of the convoluted seminiferous tubules. A few affected testes had cytoplasmic swelling of the interstitial (Leydig's) cells. The testes of all six control doves appeared active and normal on microscopic examination. All seven LT doves, two of seven LTCE doves, and all control doves survived 9 days post lead treatment. The five LTCE doves not surviving 9 days died from 2 to 7 days post lead treatment; death was attributed to the combined effect of cold stress and lead ingestion. These results establish that significant testicular degeneration in adult male ringed turtle doves can occur following ingestion of lead shot.