Long-tailed, tree-dwelling bird with gray upperparts and pale underparts. Like all couas, has brightly-colored bare skin around the eye. Shows regional variation; the southwestern birds have a brick-red undertail. Inquisitive, restless bird that bounces through the trees and doesn’t often fly. Found in all types of forest at low and middle elevations. Highly vocal; gives several calls. The most frequent and distinctive is a “laser gun” call, a series of piercing, descending calls. In most of its range, it is the only coua with a crest.