Massive kingfisher with a large scarlet bill. Head is olive-brown with dark green-blue upperparts and buff underparts. Wings and tail bluer, with rump even paler blue, obvious in flight. Juvenile has dusky edges to feathers of breast and hindneck. Vocal in breeding season, giving a loud, far-reaching “peu-peu-pow” whistle, while its regular contact call is a loud laughing “ka-ka-ka” repeated 6-10 times. Prefers large streams, rivers, and the edges of large water bodies with vegetated banks.