The Pale-capped Pigeon (Columba punicea) is a local resident bird in the Eastern Ghats and north-east India.
It is a 36-40.5 cm long, large, all-dark pigeon with a contrasting pale crown. The male has whitish-grey crown, purplish-maroon upperparts with faint green gloss on neck, more strongly iridescent mantle and back, dark slate-coloured rump and uppertail-coverts, vinous-brown ear-coverts, throat and underparts, slaty-grey undertail-coverts, blackish tail and flight feathers. Red eye-ring and base of bill. Female has more greyish crown. Juvenile initially has crown colour as with mantle, duller wing-coverts and scapulars with rufous fringes, much reduced gloss on upperparts and greyer underparts.
Population estimate: 2,500-9,999. It frequents a wide variety of habitats from the lowlands up to 1,600 m, chiefly primary or secondary evergreen forest, but also open, deciduous dipterocarp forest, bamboo, and agricultural fields, particularly in close proximity to forest. Mangroves, small forested islands and other coastal habitats are probably only frequented in the non-breeding season. It is mainly frugivorous, although seeds and grain form important dietary components in some areas.
Pale-capped Pigeon is locally distributed across its broad range, which encompasses parts of northern India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. It appears to have been locally abundant in the early 20th century, but has declined markedly in many areas. Recent records indicate that it now only occurs rarely and erratically throughout its range.