A large forest kingfisher with a deep purple-blue head, a brown back, a pale collar, and whitish underparts. Bold scaling on upperparts and underparts is diagnostic. Males show a small buff mark at the base of the bill, while females show a buff eyebrow and moustache. North Sulawesi form has a buff collar, but collar is orange elsewhere on Sulawesi. Juveniles are more heavily scaled, with a dull-colored bill. Found in dense understory of forests in the hills and mountains. Vocalizations include a rising and falling mournful whistle, “weeeeyu,” and an agitated chatter.