About the size of the domestic pigeon, but with a long tail. Sexes alike. Young birds are duller, and have only a trace of he black and white 'chess board' patch on the side of the neck.
Exclusively a forest dweller, It lives in pairs though small flocks will form where food is abundant. It is strictly arboreal, feeding on a variety of small jungle fruits and berries, among which the fruits of the wild cinnamon are much liked.
The breeding season is from February to May, and again from August to October. The nest is the usual pigeon-type, scanty platform of twigs; it is placed among foliage and twiggery in the canopy of a forest tree, or in the top of a tall sapling, usually at height of fifteen to twenty feet. The single, white egg measures about 38.5 X 28.2 mm.
This handsome pigeon is confined to the hill forest of Sri Lanka, though it has a close relation (the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon), of very similar appearance and habits, in the hills of South India. It s normal range is from 3,000 feet upwards to the highest elevations, but it wanders about a great deal and sometimes descends as low as 1000 feet in the damp forests of the wet zone.