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The scaly-naped pigeon is a large slate grey pigeon (14–16 in), with maroon coloured plumage around the neck. The plumage on the species' nape appears scaly, explaining the both the common, and scientific name of the species. There is a bare patch of skin which surrounds the birds red eyes; this patch tends to be reddish in males and more yellow in females. The legs and the base of the bill of the species are red, while the remainder of the bill is light coloured.
The range of the Scaly-naped Pigeon includes both the Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles. The species tends to occur in rain forests, however it may also be found in drier lowland woodlands; the species is locally common near human settlements.