The Nilgri Wood Pigeon appears dark grey and a black and white patterned patch made of white tipped stiff feathers on the back of the neck is distinctive. The mantle is chestnut. The male has a paler grey crown while the female has a darker grey crown with a pale throat. The most confusable other species is the Mountain Imperial Pigeon but that species has paler underwing coverts.

Habitat and Distribution

The species occurs mainly along the Western Ghats and in the Nilgiri Hills. It is sometimes also seen at lower elevations within the Western Ghats. A few populations survive on the high elevations hills of the peninsula such as the Biligirirangan Hills and Nandi Hills near Bangalore. Their habitat is moist deciduous forests and sholas of the Western Ghats in southwestern India.


Nilgiri Wood Pigeons are usually seen feeding in trees but sometimes descending to the ground to forage on fallen fruits. They also eat snails, other invertebrates and they also injest soil.


The breeding season is March to July. These birds make a flimsy platform of twigs and lay a single white egg which is usually visible from below the nest.

Calls and Songs

Their call is a loud langur-like low-frequency hooting who followed by a series of deep who-who-who notes.