male: Forehead, face below the eye, throat and breast
are black, giving the bird a mask-like appearance.
The top of the head, nape, face behind the eye and
the back of the neck are pale bluish-grey. Iris is
blackish-brown. The orbital skin forms a narrow greyish
eye-ring. The bill is reddish at the base and on the
cere, however the tip is orange-yellow. Mantle, scapulars,
tertials and inner secondaries, three innermost greater
wing feathers and lesser wing feathers are pale sandy-brown.
The back and rump are a duller greyish-brown grading
to a blackish brown on the tips of the uppertail feathers,
forming a narrow bar across the top of the tail. There
are two narrow blackish-brown bands on the mid-back
separated by narrow pale greyish band. The outer greater
and median wing feathers are pale bluish-grey. If
the wing is folded, the primary wing feathers are
not visible. Primaries are dark brown with the top
edged white. Extended, primary wing feathers show
an extensive chestnut panel edged dull brown. The
top of the outermost primary feathers are dull brown.
The basal portion of the innerweb is bright rufous.
Outerwebs of sixth to ninth primaries are edged brownish.
The innerwebs are tipped dull brown but are steadily
less so. The rest of the innerwebs are bright rufous.
Five innermost primaries feahers are rufous with narrow
brown tips. The three outermost secondaries are rufous
with narrowly edged dull brown on the tips. The rest
of the secondaries are increasingly pale, sandy-brown.
Primary feathers are bright rufous with blackish subterminal
spots, mainly on tops. The tail sharply graduates;
inner feathers are greyish-brown, next pair have bluish-grey
bases with black tips, and the following two pairs
have bluish-grey bases with broad black. The outermost
tail feathers with entire outerweb white, innerweb
bluish-grey basally with subterminal black bands and
terminal bluish grey-spot. The lower breast and belly,
flanks and vent are clear snowy-white. Undertail feathers,
undertail and wing linings are black. The feet and
tarsi are purplish-red.
female: Females lack the black mask of the male and
therefore are similar in appearance to Turtur chalcospilos,
T. abyssinicus and T. afer. The head is dull greyish-brown
with whitish forehead, face and throat, obscure blackish
postcular spot and dull brown line from gape to eye.
The bill is uniformly purplish-brown. Otherwise the
female is like the male but rather duller greyish-brown
overall. The outer greater and median wing feathers
are more greyish-brown.
Juveniles are generally pale greyish-brown. The head
is greyish with pale edgings on the top. The face
has the postocular blackish spot. The bill is dull
grey on the base and cere with black at the tip.Some
feathering above bands on back and uppertail coverts
are buff tipped with black subterminal bands. Below,
the juvenile is like the adult female. Wings are similar
but duller than in adults. Innermost secondaries,
tertials and scapulars are broadly tipped buff-brown
with black subterminal bands on secondaries and tertials.
Scapulars have only a black subterminal spot. The
greater and median wing feathers are greyish brown,
broadly tipped whitish with blackish subterminal black
bands followed by buff bands. Inner wing feathers
are a mix of white-edged grey feathers and black feathers
broadly tipped buff.