Colorful, medium-sized bee-eater with rich rufous underparts. In flight, shows black patches at the back of the wings and sides of the tail. Found in forest, gardens, and lush woodland at middle and high elevations. Usually in small groups that perch high, often in conspicuous places. The calls include a simple “seep” and an agitated series of rising whistles. Similar to Little and Blue-breasted Bee-eaters, but much larger and more richly colored below. In flight, also shows much less rufous on the top of the wings and tail than those species.