A small sunbird with a short, thin bill. The male has a black belly, an iridescent blue rump and dual red-and-blue breast bands. The female is uniform gray-brown with an unstreaked pale-yellow central belly. The species is restricted to coastal scrub, particularly sand forest and dry woodland. The song is introduced with a metallic “cheee” followed by a rapid series of 10-20 high-pitched staccato notes “ti-ti-ti-t-tii….” The male Neergaard’s Sunbird can easily be confused with the male Marico Sunbird, which has a maroon-purple breast band that can appear reddish in soft light, but Marico is larger, with a longer and more decurved bill, and it has a green (not blue) rump. Other similar female sunbirds have streaky underparts.