Common bronzewings are medium-sized, heavily built pigeons. The male has a yellow-white forehead and pink breast. Both sexes have a clear white line below and around the eye and patches of green, blue and red in the wing, characteristic of all bronzewings. The common bronzewing is a cautious pigeon, and rarely allows close approach. If startled, it flies away with a clatter, keeping low to the ground while moving in a steady, direct manner. Young common bronzewings are duller and browner than the adults. The metallic wing patch is absent or not easily seen.
Common bronzewings are one of the most plentiful and commonly seen pigeons in Australia. Common bronzewings are found in almost every habitat type, with the exception of the most barren areas and densest rainforests. Common bronzewings are normally seen alone, in pairs or in small flocks, and are rarely found far from water.
The common bronzewing feeds on seeds and other vegetable matter. The birds feed on the ground and in small parties. These small groups need to drink frequently and visit waterholes during either the day or night.
Common bronzewings build an untidy nest of sticks and twigs. It is normally placed low down in a tree or bush but may be up to 20 m above the ground. The creamy-white eggs are incubated by both parents. Both adults also share the care of the young birds, which are born naked and helpless and are completely dependent on their parents. Bronzewings, like other pigeons, secrete a special milk-like substance from their crop, which is fed to the young chicks.