A unique forest kingfisher. Largely pale brown with an eye-catching red bill, a prominent dark mask with pale flecks on its upper border, dark wings, and a rufous tail. Dark areas are deep blue, though often appear black. Sangihe form is smaller, with a broader face mask and a chest band. Juveniles duller and browner, with brown edgings to some wing feathers. Found singly within shady understory of forests within lowlands and foothills. Repetitive descending call, heard most often in early morning, is “wup-wup-ku-ku-ku-ku,” varying in length.