A fairly large kingfisher of lowland and foothill open country and forest edge. Chocolate brown on the underparts and hood, down to the upper back. Back, tail, and wings bright blue, with large black shoulder patches, small black wingtips, a white throat, and a bright red bill and legs. Somewhat similar to Stork-billed Kingfisher, but Brown-breasted has chocolate brown rather than orange underparts. Song is a rapid, descending series of a dozen or so sharp notes, trailing off in volume.