A widespread medium-sized kingfisher with brilliant turquoise wings, back, and tail that contrast with its dark chocolate head and sides. From the front the namesake white throat stands out. In flight, it shows a prominent white patch at base of black flight feathers. Females are slightly paler on the head and belly than males. Juveniles have a duller breast with fine dark scallops. The song is a loud ringing “kilililili” while its regular call, mostly uttered in flight, is a loud chattering “kra-kra-kra-kra-kra” laugh. This kingfisher is not tied to water and occupies all kinds of habitats including gardens, parks, homesteads, and woodlands.