A small dainty bee-eater with a slender black face mask and throat band. Head patterning and length of central tail feathers varies across range; Arabian birds have a stunning electric-blue face and throat, African birds have the longest tail feathers, and South Asian birds have a warm orangish crown. Juveniles are duller than adults and lack the long tail feathers. In flight, note the dark edge along the lower border of the wings. Flies gracefully as it catches insects and other prey. Inhabits open woodlands, semideserts, fields, farmlands, and around sparse human habitation. Some populations show seasonal movements. Calls are a series of gentle liquid trills.