This is the smallest-bodied dove of the region and the only one to have a long, pointed tail and a black face and throat (in male). In flight the long tail, combined with the white underparts and chestnut flight feathers, render this bird unmistakable.
Female and juvenile lack the black face and throat of male and have slightly shorter tails.
Prefers drier regions such as thornveld, Karoo scrublands and sparse desert grassland.
A distinctive, hollow sounding bisyllabic hoot, almost flufftail-like; the first note is sharp, the second longer.