The length of the crested pigeon varies from 30 to 34 cm (12 to 13.6 in). Colouration is grey with tinges of brown and green. It has a feathered but slender, black spike on top of the head. It runs with the crest erect. The periorbital skin is bright orange. Wings have black stripes and are bronzed, while the primary feathers have colourful areas of brown, purple, blue, and green. Immature birds have duller colours with no bronzing on the wings. The birds can be normally seen in two sizes, they can be thin or plumped. It is almost impossible to tell if a crested pigeon is male or female, because they have the same plumage.If startled, the crested pigeon takes to the air with a distinctive whistling 'call', the source of the noise can be attributed to the way the air rushes over a modified primary feather found on the wings.