A plump, small-headed, pigeon-like bird. At close range the male is identified by a combination of black-and-white bands just above bill and by a strong yellow eye-ring; the female is mottled with black, brown, and white. It prefers using patches of recently-burnt grassland near rocky areas in savanna. Largely inactive by day; large numbers synchronously gather at waterholes to drink, call, and socialize briefly at dusk before dispersing to forage throughout the night. Its distinctive calls are squeaky and bubbling: “oh NO, he’s gone and done it AGAIN!”.