An unmistakable, spectacular large forest kingfisher with a big orange bill, a moss-green back, burnt-orange underparts, and a white throat. Head is bright azure-blue in north and central Sulawesi, but very dark blackish-blue in the south. Females show rufous facial markings that are absent in males. Juveniles are duller, with horn-colored bills. Found singly and in pairs in forest understory of lowlands and lower hills. Vocal around dawn, when it repeats drawn-out mournful whistles, “woooo-eEEE,” that get gradually louder. Also gives a distressed dry chatter.
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